The Braves are through 44 games, which puts them over a quarter of the way through the season, and you know what that means.

That’s right—it’s time to hand out some grades and make some early judgments on how the season is going so far.

I’m looking at the bullpen today and will get to the lineup regulars next. Check out my report on the starting pitchers here.

Eric O’Flaherty

With an ERA below 2.00 and a WHIP below 1.00, O’Flaherty has been superb for the Braves so far. The fact that he’s pitched in half of Atlanta’s games so far is troubling, but he’s only worked 19 innings total, so hopefully the quantity of games is nullified by his short appearances.

First Quarter Grade: A

Peter Moylan

Moylan has been rock solid out of the ‘pen in 2010. His sidearm delivery presents a different look for hitters, and he really has the confidence of the team and the Atlanta fans. Moylan has also appeared in 22 games, and the Braves need to be careful with him since he has been seriously injured in the recent past.

First Quarter Grade: A

Billy Wagner

At first glance, Wagner hasn’t had a very impressive year: five saves to go along with two blown saves. But this is Wagner’s first full year after major surgery, and it seems that he’s still getting into the swing of things. He has a low WHIP and ERA to go along with a very good strikeout/walk ratio (25/7) so I think the best is yet to come for Billy Wagner with the Braves in 2010.

First Quarter Grade: B

Takashi Saito

Saito has been a bit of a disappointment for the Braves so far. He’s not nearly on the level of his countryman Kenshin “7.3 mil, 0 wins” Kawakami, but he hasn’t been the fantastic setup man he was advertised as when he signed with the Braves this winter. Saito’s ERA this season (3.72) is more than a run higher than his previous season high (2.49 in 2008 with the Dodgers) so there’s reason to think he will improve as the year goes on.

First Quarter Grade: C+

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