Seasons with Braves:1993-96, 2000
Career Stats with Braves:18-14, 44 SV, 334 IP, 2.96 ERA, 1.21 WHIP
Greg’s omission from the Immortals is, I think, due to the short shrift middle relievers get whenever stats are thrown around. But Greg was probably the best setup man in the league during his first stint with the Braves, and it’s easy to underestimate his impact.
Greg came out of nowhere in a blaze of glory. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting when he took over the closing duties midseason from the faltering Mike Stanton. His 44 saves put him tied for 9th all-time in the franchise books. But it was primarily as an 8th inning man that he shone. You just knew he was going to hand the lead to the closer, despite the fact that he seemed to be throwing nothing but meatballs. His control was that good. The only Atlanta Braves pitchers that I can find who 1) threw any real body of innings and 2) had a lower ERA are Maddux, Rocker, Remlinger, and Terry Forster.
Mac overrates Remlinger in my book, but both McMichael and Remlinger belong in the 44. I would take Greg over Mike, but only by a slim nod.
Mac’s Bonus Take: I left McMichael off the original list, but I think now that he has a real case. His stats aren’t as good as Remlinger’s, but they are good, and his year as the closer was the best (by Win Shares) by a Braves reliever in the nineties. Kerry Ligtenberg is probably a shade behind McMichael because in his last couple of years he was throwing mostly low-leverage innings. McMichael and Ligtenberg were both, of course, essentially free talent, two guys whom nobody else wanted. The only pitchers with more than 300 IP and sub-3.00 ERAs in Atlanta uniforms are Maddux, Remlinger, and McMichael in that order.