Odds and ends from Braves camp: Sunday
As long as health stays on their side, the Braves have should have enough dependable arms in their bullpen to lessen the strain placed on primary setup men Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty this year. Kris Medlen is capable of handling any role after the fifth inning and Arodys Vizcaino has the capability of being a dominant reliever once he continues to develop.
But as Venters prepares for a new season, he is already attempting to make adjustments with the hope that he will not struggle like he has in September during his first two Major League seasons. The hard-throwing left-hander produced a 5.11 ERA and 1.86 WHIP this past September. His only other monthly WHIP above 1.27 was posted in September of 2010, when he produced a 1.77 WHIP.
Venters began his throwing program about three weeks later than normal this year and as he looks toward the regular season, he is planning to spend more time in the weight room. He believes he will be able to stay strong a little longer this year if he is able to maintain some of the muscle he added to his legs and shoulders this winter.
Getting back to Vizcaino, it will be interesting to see what the Braves do with him at the start of the season. He’s certainly talented enough to be a part of Atlanta’s bullpen and he would be valuable if given a chance to pitch on a regular basis. But as some of you have pointed out, it might not be wise to throw this kind of prospect in the big league bullpen if there is a concern that he will not get the innings he needs for his development.
Check out Braves.com today for stories on Brandon Beachy and Joe Terdoslavich, who experienced a thrill Saturday when he had the opportunity to take groundballs alongside a fellow switch-hitting third baseman named Chipper Jones. There is also an update on Tommy Hanson, who played catch and jogged in the outfield today. He’ll undergo another concussion impact test Monday and possibly be cleared to begin Spring Training workouts on Tuesday.