Melancon has posted a 0.00 ERA and 6:0 K:BB through five innings this spring. The 34-year-old was a perfect 11-for-11 in save chances to close out last season for Atlanta, and Melancon appears ready to handle ninth-inning duties again when Opening Day finally rolls around. He'll likely split high-leverage work with Will Smith, but Melancon is still expected to receive at least the majority of the team's save opportunities.
Melancon is expected to remain as the Braves' primary closer next season, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. Atlanta's bullpen became even more crowded Thursday when the team signed Will Smith, who recorded 34 saves last season with the Giants. However, the Braves still plan to use Melancon as their primary closer in 2020 after he recorded a 3.61 ERA with 12 saves last year. Melancon will likely have a shorter leash as a closer next season since the Braves have several other capable closers in Smith and Shane Greene.
Melancon didn't allow a baserunner and struck out two in the ninth inning to record the save Thursday against Philadelphia. Melancon was called upon to protect a one-run lead and had no issue doing so, setting down the Phillies in order on just 12 pitches. He now has 12 saves on the season, 11 of which have come since he was dealt to Atlanta. While the save chances split between him and Shane Greene were originally unclear when they were acquired, Melancon has now locked down 11 of the team's last 13 save chances. He has pitched fairly effectively in his tenure with the team, particularly of late: He has turned in scoreless appearances in 10 of his last 12 outings.
Melancon allowed two hits but didn't yield a run during the ninth inning to record his 11th save in a 3-1 victory against the Phillies on Wednesday. The veteran closer is a perfect 10-for-10 in save chances since receiving his first with Atlanta on Aug. 13. There have been plenty of opportunities as well with the Braves winning 11 of the last 13. Melancon is 5-2 with 11 saves, 3.92 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 64 strikeouts in 62 innings with the Giants and Braves this season.
Melancon struck out two in a perfect ninth inning Saturday to record his 10th save of the season in a 5-4 win over the Nationals. Shane Greene got the save the night before but worked as a set-up man in this one, leaving ninth-inning duties to Melancon once again. The veteran right-hander has a 20:2 K:BB in 14.2 innings and has converted all nine of his save chances since joining the Atlanta bullpen, but his 5.52 ERA is far less impressive, making it tough to gauge just how much job security Melancon actually has.
Last 7 Games