Saturday, June 7, 2014

Kimbrel Passes Smoltz For Braves' All-Time Saves Record

Photo by ESPN

After missing the 2000 season, John Smoltz returned in 2001 recording 10 saves and going 3-3 while starting 5 games for the Braves. Upon becoming the teams' closer, Smoltz added 55 saves the following season, 45 in 2003, and 44 in 2004. In those four years as Atlanta's closer, he piled up 154 career saves, which stood as the most in franchise history.

Skip forward to 2014 where the new closer, Craig Kimbrel, passes Smoltz for the all-time saves record on June 6th. Since winning Rookie Of The Year in 2011 (above teammate Freddie Freeman who finished 2nd in voting), Kimbrel now holds the franchise record with 155 career saves.

It was inevitable that Kimbrel would eventually surpass the mark, so it was only a matter of time for when it would happen. He makes this accomplishment shortly after his 26th birthday which was back on May 28th. The Braves have him under contract through 2017, with a team option for 2018. If he were to pitch the full four years for the Braves, if he can average around 40-50 saves a season like he has, by the time his contract ends he should easily have 340+ career saves.


  1. Congrats to Kimbrel. Number two closer in baseball, behind Kenley Jansen of course ;p

    1. Haha, I see what you did there. You know, I'm pretty sure it was Jansen that started as a catcher and they converted him to a pitcher in the minors. I believe it was him.