Only one major league reliever has worked more innings than left-hander Jonny Venters since Venters’ major league debut on April 17, but the Braves’ workhorse rookie said Monday that fatigue has not been a factor down the stretch.
“Physically, I feel fine,” said Venters, who issued three walks in 1-1/3 innings during two appearances Saturday and Sunday at Washington. “My mechanics have been a little messed up lately. Just got to get locked back in.
“[Sunday] and a couple of other times I’ve been out there thinking about my mechanics instead of making a quality pitch. That’s never good.”
Colorado veteran Matt Belisle’s 83 innings in 68 appearances since April 17 was the only workload greater than Venters handled in that stretch, and Venters’ 1.80 ERA was a run lower than Belisle’s in that period.
Among National League relievers, Venters ranked fifth in lowest ERA (1.80) and seventh in lowest opponents’ average (.197) before Monday.
During a stretch of 68 Braves games from May 27 to Aug. 11, Venters made a whopping 41 appearances.
In 22 appearances since then, Venters had a 3.80 ERA and .262 opponents’ average. Before Aug. 12, he had a miniscule 0.92 ERA and .164 opponents’ average in his first 47 appearances.