davies

The 20 worst A-Braves pitchers: #13, Kyle Davies

On a cold drizzly night in Boston in May 2005, Kyle Davies made his major league debut, and it was a gem. Facing a line-up featuring Johnny Damon, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Jason Varitek — all in their primes — Davies pitched five shutout innings, striking out 6.

Four nights later he tossed 5-1/3 shutout innings vs. the Mets. He shut out the Pirates through 7-2/3 two starts later, beating #19 on this list, Mark Redman.

After four starts the kid from Stockbridge boasted a stingy 0.77 ERA, providing hope that he would be the first homegrown pitcher since Kevin Millwood to thrive in Atlanta. Instead his career is all but over at age 29.

No one can say he didn’t get a fair shake. Despite a poor finish in 2005, Davies entered the ’06 season as one of the Braves’ five starters. His first two outings were forgettable but in his third start Davies pitched a complete game three-hitter against the Mets. He followed that up with seven strong innings vs. Milwaukee.

Then the roof caved in. Davies posted an ungodly 8.38 ERA in 14 games, all starts. He didn’t make it past the third inning in 4 of those starts, giving up 90 hits in 63.1 IP for a 1.942 WHIP.

But the Braves weren’t ready to give up on him. Davies started 2007 in the Braves rotation, showing some improvement from the previous year. But when a 5.76 ERA represents improvement, your days are numbered. In July JS shipped him to Kansas City for Octavio Dotel, where he toiled for four mostly forgettable years.

As a Brave, Davies was 14-21 with a 6.15 ERA and 1.713 WHIP. Five of those wins came against the Mets and Pirates.

easterly

The 20 worst A-Braves pitchers: #14, Jamie Easterly

Jamie Easterly is the third pitcher from the ’77 Braves — which finished with a league-worst 4.85 ERA — to make our list, joining Don Collins and Preston Hanna. Like Collins and Hanna, Easterly was a high draft pick, selected in the 2nd round in 1971. Until Bill Lucas came along the Braves drafted terribly, helping make the 70s a lost decade for the local nine.

Easterly began his career as a starter, with 28 of his 36 career starts coming as a Brave. He was 7-16 with a 5.43 ERA and 1.629 WHIP  in those games, striking out just 98 in 182 IP. He eventually settled in the bullpen, though he was no specialist; left-handed batters hit .292 against the southpaw.

Hard to believe he lasted 13 seasons in the majors. Easterly was better, though still middling, after leaving Atlanta, pitching for Milwaukee and Cleveland. His final Braves numbers: 8-20, 5.72 ERA, 232.2 IP, 272 H, 137 BB, 127 K’s, 1.758 WHIP.

For the ’77 Bravos, Easterly was 2-4 with a 6.14 ERA but was far from the worst pitcher on the team. We’ll identify that hurler later in the list.