One of the first moves that Alex Anthopoulos made as the Braves’ general manager was to send cash considerations to the Dodgers and snag reliever Josh Ravin from them. While Ravin did not end up playing for the Braves much and his season was most certainly not the one he hoped for, it is worth chronicling his year nonetheless.
Ravin was drafted way back in the 2006 draft by the Reds and his lengthy minor league career was one that was marked by very real promise but also with injuries and a lengthy PED suspension. Ravin bounced around the minor leagues for a while before the Dodgers signed him as a minor league free agent where he saw some time in the big leagues before Atlanta acquired him.
To say that the 2018 season was disappointing for Ravin would be a bit of an understatement. He started the season with an infection that caused him to miss some time. Then, in a far more serious situation, Ravin was hit in the face by a line drive in Triple-A which caused him to miss more than a month. Overall, Ravin pitched well in the minor leagues with a 0.00 ERA in 19 appearances with 30 strikeouts against just 9 walks in just 18.2 innings. He only managed to make two appearances with the big league club where he posted a 6.00 ERA in three innings of work. Those three innings came across two different appearances: he threw a scoreless frame (one walk, zero hits, zero strikeouts) against the Phillies on March 31, and then, in late April, pitched two innings against the Mets, giving up two runs in his last frame and dooming his team to a 5-3 extra-inning loss.
Bottom line, what did Ravin do in 2018? 0.00 ERA in 18.2 innings in the minors. 6.00 ERA in two appearances in the majors.
Will he be on the roster in 2019? That does not seem particularly likely at this point in time. Despite the numbers looking good on paper, the Braves had ample opportunities to bring Ravin up to given the bullpen’s struggles in 2018. While his injury certainly didn’t help that cause, that the Braves didn’t give Ravin a more serious look in the majors does make one wonder if they thought he could be successful. Moreover, Ravin is 30 years old and has already elected for free agency. The Braves re-signing him isn’t out of the question, but there may be another team that will like him more.
What is he going to do next season? He will at least get a Spring Training invite somewhere next season barring the unforeseen. He put up strong numbers when he was on the mound in the minors so someone will at least give him a look. He may end up with a minor league contract and at his age, this could be one of his last chances to stick on a major league roster.
Highlight of 2018: Not too easy to find one when a guy walked twice as many guys as he struck out, but the zero runs allowed at Triple-A is nice enough, I guess?
Lowlight of 2018: His outing against the Mets on April 20 was a bit of a mess. He came into a tie game in the 11th and promptly issued a leadoff walk. A rare error behind him by Freddie Freeman put the go-ahead run on second, but Ravin then got two flyouts and his only strikeout of the year to keep New York off the board. The next inning didn’t go so well: he started it by hitting the opposing pitcher with a pitch, and then after collecting two outs (one via sacrifice bunt), he allowed an RBI single to Yoenis Cespedes and then an RBI double to Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera made an out on the basepaths on the play, but the Braves were now down by two runs in the 12th and went down in order to end the game.