They all took a spin as the Braves closer in 2006, ranging from awful to godawful. Reitsma had an 8.08 ERA, allowing 46 hits in 28 innings. Sosa inherited the job after losing his spot in rotation but was as bad as a reliever (5.25 ERA) as he was as a starter (5.53).
It had been seven years since Royals castoff Ken Ray, then 31, pitched in the majors. He allowed 66 hits, 9 homers, and walked 38 in 67-2/3 IP. Yates had been released by the Mets. Enough said.
A total of 20 pitchers worked in relief for the Braves that season, names like Wayne Franklin, Chad Paronto, Lance Cormier, Kevin Barry, Anthony Lerew and Oscar “the Vulture” Villarreal.
This might’ve been the worst of them all were it not for Bob Wickman, who pitched the best two months of his life after coming over in trade with Cleveland. Wickman saved 18 games, averaging a strikeout per inning against only 2 walks in 26 innings. He reverted to mediocrity the following year, earning his release after bitching about appearing in a non-save situation.