Venters continues to earn widespread respect

As I was exiting the clubhouse after last night’s game, a couple veteran players told me I needed to write a story every day about Jonny Venters.   In some ways they were goofing around.  But after watching Venters exhaust every last bit of energy while completing two scoreless innings last night, they were also kind serious.

Over the past few days, we’ve heard Matt Diaz and Reds manager Dusty Baker praise Venters.  Diaz said his former teammate is the game’s best left-handed reliever and Baker compared him to 1977 American League Cy Young Award winner Sparky Lyle.

Given that Venters is getting a necessary and much-deserved chance to rest tonight, this seems to be a good time to look at the ridiculous numbers he has posted since joining the Majors last year.

To compensate for Venters’ absence and the fact that Scott Linebrink and Eric O’Flaherty also might not be available, the Braves have promoted Cory Gearrin from Triple-A Gwinnett.  Wilkin Ramirez will likely be sent down to make room for the right-handed reliever.

Venters admitted he had nothing left as he struck out Chris Heisey to end Saturday night’s ninth inning and his fourth two-inning appearance in span of 11 days.  The Braves have gone 3-1 in those games.

While establishing himself as one of the game’s top relievers, Venters has lived up to the “Everyday Jonny” nickname he earned while making 79 appearances last year.    Braves fans have come to expect to hear chopping chants and see Venters on the mound whenever they come to Turner Field.  <p>

These fans have Venters manage to prove even better than he was during last year’s stellar rookie season.  He ranks second among Major League reliever with a .125 opponent’s batting average and sixth with a .216 opponent’s on-base percentage.  His 0.55 ERA ranks second to the .042 mark Pirates right-hander Daniel McCutchen has posted in 18 appearances and 21 1/3 innings.

Venters has made 108 appearances and completed 115 2/3 innings since making his Major League debut last year.   Reds reliever Nick Masset leads the Majors during this span with 109 appearances, which have consisted of 105 innings.

Peter Moylan ranks second among Braves pitchers with the 92 appearances he has made since the start of the 2010 season and Eric O’Flaherty ranks third with 84.   With Moylan likely out until some time in August and O’Flaherty’s back occasionally proving bothersome, Venters could end up combining for at least 30 more appearances than any other Braves pitchers during the 2010 and ’11 seasons.

Venters’ 115 2/3 innings also ranks as the game’s second-highest total among Major League relievers since the start of last year.   Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard lead the Majors with the  118 2/3 innings he has completed in 100 appearances.

Still while leading all Major League relievers with a 5.05 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio and 83.5 percent groundball percentage during this span, Venters has proven to be efficient while on the mound.  The 1,771 pitches during these past two seasons rank fourth among Major League releivers, trailing Clippard (2010), Rockies right-hander Matt Belisle (1,843) and Cubs closer Carlos Marmol 1,808.

Venters leads all Major League relievers with 32 2/3 innings this year and his 29 appearances match Reds right-hander Logan Ondrusek for the game’s most this year.

Still while making two fewer appearances and completing 6 2/3 fewer innings, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has thrown 22 more pitches than Venters this year.

When Venters arrived for his first big league Spring Training last year, he was an injury-plagued left-handed pitcher who had finally produced some reason for encouragement the previous year.   About 15 months later, the only four Braves to throw more pitches are starting pitchers  Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson and Jair Jurrjens.

You probably could have won a lot of money at the start of the 2010 season if you  had you predicted Venters would enter June of 2011 having thrown 300 pitches more than Kenshin Kawakami during this two-season span.

 

 

60 Comments

There is no reason why the rest of the year the braves will be almost impossible to beat if your behind to them after 7 innings

Mark,
Another positive blog, wow thanks to your MD for refilling your anti-depressant prescription.

I don’t want to inflate your ego but, you did predict this outcome last year and again this one.

Keep thinking the glass is half full buddy it will keep you and us feeling better about our beloved Braves in tough time.

Rik Sanchez

Mr. Bowman, write everyday about Venters? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Try writing everyday

He does: http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=atl

Articles every day. It’s also quite funny that you care so much about how often he writes another blog post. Zolecki’s constant posts about Roy Halladay being a good pitcher and what he had for lunch Thursday not enough for you?

Obviously if I wanted to know what hand Halladay uses to wipe himself, I would either consult BillyBob Reefer or go to the ZoZone, in that order. I just think that Mr. Bowman skirts his contractual obligations by only posting here once every four or five days. He appeared to be getting feisty a week or so ago but now it is the same old, same old. Probably his pangs from the dead tree media kicking in. Oh, remember Brandon, Reds take 2 of 3. You heard it first here.

Hey PhallusPain, Bold words for a guy who is lost to who? THE MUTTS????? Geez, I guess it could have been worse, you could have lost to the Astro’s. But it is kinda sad, lot of Frillies weak hitting, the highly touted pitching staff(eating Braves dust) and generally lousy play is making this a competitive Division. If we hadn’t spotted you 7 games you would be sucking tailpipe by now.

BillyBobReefer, who is in first and who will be tomorrow morning regardless of what the Braves do tonight? I love the smell of phenoms burning out in Atlanta. Probably Sherman’s sentiments as well. Don’t you think?

God, wanta throw some batteries at Jesus or something?? You want to joke about one of the darkest hours in American history? Little weasels in NJ/Philly really need something to do. You are like a little cancerous mole on my behind. I would like to get rid of it, but it really isn’t bothering me that bad.

There you go Bill. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. Know the enemy, attack the enemy!

Mets and Dodgers already did their work, now we just have to take care of our business

We only got McLouth because Schafer didnt pan out. With a healthy Schafer, McLouth is mcgoodasgone.

Prado and Shafer. No 1 and 2. This is getting fun.

I agree. Nice having a real leadoff guy and Prado hitting 2nd. Pherris reading those tea leaves upside down?

Brandie, please stop agreeing with me, it makes me nervous.

Oh and Speedy I am still cracking up from your comment.

Schaffer has really impressed me and I think he’s earned a spot on this roster. He makes things happen and he’s a tougher out than McClouth.
Great game tonight. JJ is putting up ridiculous numbers. Has to be up there in early Cy Young discussions. Prado is just Prado.
I have a feeling that every game on here on out is going to be close and low scoring. It’s going to be a stressful season unless the two mashers (Uggla.Heyward) who we were depending on to carry us offensively can turn it around.

Yes.

The things that I was thinking about after ruminating on your post, Bravo, were this. While the effects of Heyward and Uggla’s struggles have a very similar set of consequences, they have very different origins. As Heyward was talking intelligently to media about today. His problems aren’t from being unable to perform, they are as a result of trying to compensate for injury by changing mechanics. Ultimately that always fails because the change doesn’t really compensate, it just alters what was working before. In Uggla’s case I think he has been on the brink of busting out of his slump for a while, but he get’s his head in the game too much and falls back into the quagmire. This guy is one of the most consistent hitters in Baseball. His OPS ranged from .805 to .877 for the last 5 years(his 1st 5!!!!). New contract, new team he’s just thinking too much. As soon as he has a 4-4 with 2 dingers he will be cured. Make book on it. He killed the ball last night, and nothing came of it. He just needs a good confidence builder.

Only Bill could rag on nate when he was hitting .250 and defend uggla when he is well under the mendoza line. Its great to have shcafer and some speed in this side. Changes the whole order. I think we would find it hard to trade nates contract and so i feel as if we should keep him as our 4th outfielder.

I totally agree with Bill’s defense of Uggla. Despite hitting his absolute worst, he is still near the team lead in HR, Nate has struggled for over a year, and he needs to go. I’m sure the Royals or Nats will take him off our hands.

Ok, it looks like Schaeffer may be here to stay. Anybody wonder if he distracted Cueto enough to have him make a bad pitch? Unfortunately, McClouth has an untradeable contract. He has done an adequate job in center, but Schaeffer is a definite upgrade. Don’t forget about Schaeffer’s strong throwing arm, which McClouth is lacking. It looks like they may need to send Conrad down since McClouth needs to serve as a 4th outfielder. Conrad is a great guy, but tought to keep a guy just for pinch hitting duties. I hope they don’t deccided to send Schaeffer back when McClouth returns, but that is my fear. Uggla has looked a little better, but needs to produce.

Thinking that you guys might be missing the WHOLE point. The strength of our team is DEPTH. We have depth at every position; infield, outfield, catching, starting pitching, and relief pitching. This is the reason I am excited about our team and is the reason that the Phillie Trollers aren’t sleeping well at night these days. Schafer is taking FULL advantage of what he had to know was his last chance. I am loving his approach at the plate, and his defense. I am loving that Fredi has him batting lead off. I think Prado will do well in the 2 hole. Sorry, Bill but you have to give some credit to Frank for putting this team together with its combinations of youth and veterans, and especially with its depth .

Uggla is horrible. 0.162 in may with only 2 homers. If he keeps this up he will be out of the line up by july

Do all teams have players with proven track reccords that fall apart for no particular reason. Here is a brief list – Franceour, KJ, McClouth, and now Uggla. I feel for Uggla, but tough to win at this level with someone who struggles for 2 solid months. He is becoming a rally killer and costing them some games and so much stress on the pitching staff. They are forced to use EOF, JW and CG virtually every night because every game is soooo close. Can’t blame TP for him as his infield defense has been fine which is his new role. Here is what I think should happen, BUT NEVER WILL. When McClouth comes back, srart him in LF and Prado at second base. Let Uggla spend a week in the minor league to get some idea of the strike zone and hopefully make some contact. This guy is a mid 800 OPS guy that looks lost. Hopefully, but the time Bill reads this, UGGLA would have belted a 3 run homerun and he can prove me wrong. Make no mistake, Bill and everyone, the way they are going, McClouth provides significantly more value to the line-up than Uggla. GO BRAVES…

That is what I would do too. Time to ditch uggla unless he has picked it up by the time McClutch is back. Then move prado to 2nd and nate to lf and have uggla in the minors. If he gets hot there we can bring him up again, if not then dangle him for trade bait. At least we have conrad and his 0.148 average. Wow what a player!

uggla = 4 for 56 with 4 singles. Time for the minors in my opinion. Even if he is one of bills favourites

make that 4 for 46 sorry with 4 singles. AWFUL

O and only 1 walk, so 4 for 46 with 4 singles and 1 walk and 0 sb and 1 rbi.

I don’t know where you peanut heads get your stats, But Uggla is 6 for his last 47 with 1 HR coming into today. The must not have had those stats in the Soccer Almanac.

4 BB’s as well. If your gonna quote stats at least have them close to right.

Zidane and my post were written simultaneously – amazing. Brilliant minds think alike.

Simply Amazing. Rocket science is born.

Brooks Clutch at it again.

Barry D. now posting under “Papa Bear”. Uggla is an enigma. I was one of the largest detractors of the deal when it took place. I am well documented here expressing why I didn’t think the deal was a good one. However, even I didn’t expect it to be this bad. But as bad as Uggla has been, I can still appreciate the effort he has given. It is obvious that he plays with a lot of heart, and no one is pulling for him to turn it around more than me. Perhaps we can create an injury for him and give him a couple of weeks off and a rehab assignment. Seem to be what we have done with Jason.

Yes, I’m sure when Jason can’t feel his hand on occassion he decided to “create” an injury. It was the oppossite. Jason was hurt and stayed in the lineup.

is bill referring to brooks dribbler up the middle??

C’mon Brandie you can do better than that.

Over at MLBTRADERUMORS the Elias rankings is up and they got Alex Gonzalez as a type A free agent. Do we resign him or offer Arb, collect the picks and hope T. Pastornicky is ready next year. Your thoughts everyone. Hey rother you there?

Schaeffer was safe, but so was yanish at home yesterday, Even now win it.

Final Comment on a very frustrating day. This is the type of game that they will continue to struggle winning as long as they have an automatic out in the line-up. If Uggla would have gotten one or two hits today, things may have been different. Now that Hinske has settled down, the heart of the Braves order is not too scary. They need Uggla to agree to a minor league assignment to get his stroke together. If he was hitting 250 with 10/30, they would have at least five more wins and be in 1st place.

Junior, come on, we all know the only reason we are above .500 is due to uggla and brooks, where as the reason we arent first is due to mcclotuh….duhhhhh

Bill those stats I gave were correct, you just added one game on before hand where he hit a homer. Brooks and uggla both hitting below the mendoza line. O dear Bill, time for you to eat some humble pie?

Even the way you selectively left out his last multtihit day. Your stats on walks are still wrong. You really don’t know how to read a a box score do you Zippy??

Ok Bill we get it. Brooks and Uggla are the reason the braves are not bottom of the division right now! Your defence of them is laughable, you really are the laughing stock of this blog. Sorry to tell you that. The manager should drop uggla now, brooks is fine as a sub hitter but shouldnt be involved fielding because he is awful at it. Bill if you were manager of this side, then we would be bottom by miles…you really dont have a clue!

The best Bill can do when he has 3 people proving him wrong is accuse me of posting under different names? It doesn’t take 3 people to prove you are an idiot, Bill. All it takes is you.

From everything I can gather, Pastornicky has been all he was advertised to be, spark plug, team leader, etc. The issue keeping him in Mississippi seems to be the glut of 4A talent at SS in Gwinnett with Diory. Lucas, and Hicks. We’ll probably not get to see him until September, unless Gonzalez goes on the DL in a season ending way. The long term answer is most likely Pastornicky, the short term answers are in Gwinnett.

Two things about Uggla. One is there are over 60 million reasons that he is trying way too hard, and the other is that there are over 60 million reasons he is going to get to work it out in Atlanta. He is very aware of both things, and he will get them under control. He wants to be in Atlanta, and he is going to produce for the Braves. I just hope it will be soon.

Trivia: who is in the biggest slump: 1, Uggla, 2, Conrad, or 3, Bill in the comments on this blog??

Vote now!

Uggla, Bill never has had a shortage of comments since he has become a regular on this blog. Conrad is a PH, it takes 20+ PA to tell if he is in a slump or hot and another 20+ PA to tell if he is coming out of a slump or going cold.

So rother will Pastornicky be ready by 2012 or do we try to retain A. Gonzalez for another year?

Uggla will never be sent to AAA. That’s the last thing that you do to a veteran slugger in a bad slump who you just committed 5 years and $60 million to. The only think you can do for Uggla is move him around in the lineup, take the pressure off of him. It would really help if the rest of the team started hitting so he didn’t feel it was all on him. Chipper is hitting .250 with 4 home runs and he’s our #3 hitter. Our other slugger is on the DL carrying a .220 average. We have two consistent hitters right now (Prado and McCann) and one of them is off every 5th day. Hitting is contagious. This whole team is laughable offensively right now. Uggla is taking that all on him. He will turn it around. We’re only just over 1/4 of the season.

Also – If Schaffer makes a strong throw to second base instad of lolli-gagging and short hopping the throw on the run he doubles off Harang at second and we win the game yesterday. I hope he takes that to heart…

Isn’t Lipka as SS as well? Or was he moved to OF?
And on the Uggla comments, he’s not going to the minors, end of discussion.

And please guys, please attempt to spell names right on the board… I can understand minor league guys, I do that on occassion. But holy cow its……. Schafer and McLouth.

Also guys, don’t overlook the offense of Gonzalez and Freeman at this point. To my knowledge, Freeman has always been a slow starter. Over his past 10 games he has hit .350. I hope this is a sign of things to come. With Gonzo, I think we all know how streaky he can be as shown by his career numbers. Let’s hope he can put together a somewhat lengthy hot streak, since he is batting .342 over the same span.
Personally, I feel that we are handicapping our offense as long as Chipper hits third. I understand that he is a Braves legend already, but I think he would be much more beneficial somewhere else in the lineup. He just does not have the power to hit 3rd anymore. No one will think any less of him if he hits in another spot in the lineup. But at this point, I don’t know who would hit there.

I spell the names based on how I think they should be spelled. I can’t help it if their parents were idiots… :)

… of course I misspelled Schafer’s last name so… there goes that argument.

Its obvious that chipper should hit 2 and prado 3

I don’t think it’s “obvious” that Chipper should hit 2 and Prado 3. In case you haven’t noticed, Chipper is not exactly tearing the cover off of the ball lately (but then again not many are). I agree Chipper would probably do well in the 2 hole, but he needs to produce while hitting in that position.
Prado can hit just about anywhere in the order, Prado is Atlanta’s version of Jeter. He is the clear MVP of this team and has been for a while.

Chipper is a valuable piece of the lineup, he just needs to be down a little farther, say right behind McCann whereever he is hitting. Schafer at leadoff is fine with me right now, and Prado in the 2 hole is perfect. McCann is the best hitter right now, so he gets the 3 hole for a while. That puts Chipper at 4, at least until another guy emerges with power and some OBP/AVG to go with it. It’s not a demotion for Chipper, it is just a better way to utilize the players we have and what they have shown capable of producing. Remember, Chipper is 1200 ABs into the .260 with 10-15 HR type power. This isn’t cutting edge analysis. He is a good player, down from the great player he was, and he deserves a fairly prominent role on the team, just not the roll where we count on him to carry us. He isn’t that guy anymore. And no Viva, I’m not slamming Chipper. I’m a Chipper fan as well, just not convinced at this point in his career that the Braves should expect him to carry them from the 3 hole.

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