April 19, 2024

Over the last two seasons, the Atlanta Braves have won more than 100 games and two consecutive NL East titles. They have two NLDS exits to show for it, as perhaps baseball’s best regular season club failed to advance to the league championship series each season.

The Braves will have similar expectations in the 2024 season. Anything less than winning the World Series is unacceptable as Atlanta prepares for the season. Relief pitcher AJ Minter made this apparent in an interview with media on Wednesday, ahead of the Braves’ first spring training practice for pitchers and catchers on Thursday.

“We hold ourselves to a different standard than most organizations, and that is what distinguishes us,” Minter told Bally Sports South. “We need to get everybody focused coming into spring training like, ‘Hey, this is World Series or bust.'”

The Braves won their first World Series championship in 26 years in 2021. Ironically, it was Atlanta’s worst season in six years, during which time the Braves had won six consecutive division titles.

 

A.J. Minter placed on IL with sore shoulder, another blow to Braves bullpen  - NBC Sports

 

Minter was a member of each of those organizations after making his MLB debut with the Braves in 2017. Over the previous three seasons, he has been one of Atlanta’s most dependable relievers, contributing significantly to the team’s success.

Minter has pitched an average of 62 innings since 2021, with a 3.13 ERA. Despite struggling in three games in the 2021 World Series, he has a career postseason ERA of 2.88. He’ll undoubtedly play an important role in the Braves’ bullpen this season.

The Braves have one of the most talented rosters in the MLB and are strong favorites to win the NL East again. However, another year of regular-season success would not please the Atlanta fans or the players.

After two disappointing seasons, the Braves have one goal in mind for 2024: to be a challenging club to beat for 162 games or more.

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