Gonzalez serious about cutting back Venters’ workload

Jonny Venters was scheduled to get the night off Friday in the series-opener against the Orioles, as Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez kept his word about trying to get his workhorse reliever some time off this weekend.

With Thursday’s off day, it allowed Venters back-to-back days of rest. Going forward Gonzalez said he’s serious about finding ways to give more breaks to the major-league leader in appearances (46).

“Early on, that one stretch we were playing a lot of close games, extra-inning games, and games where we were one run down in the eighth, we would pitch him just to stay in the game,” Gonzalez said. “Maybe we’ll not do that as often. Pitch him when we’re tied or up.”

Venters showed some signs of fatigue on the Braves’ recent road trip. He gave up twice as many runs in three games – six – as he had in his first 43 appearances – three – and watched his ERA climb from 0.56 to 1.59.

84 comments Add your comment

Peter

July 1st, 2011
7:21 pm

JoshTown

July 1st, 2011
7:23 pm

It’ll pay dividends down the line…

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

Really?

July 1st, 2011
7:31 pm

Ya think?
Gee, do you think he overworked him. He nearly pitches everyday and on the days he doesn’t, he’s warming up to pitch.

Ryan K

July 1st, 2011
7:41 pm

I am thinking that Fredi’s bosses told him that he HAS to give Venters more rest, not try to. As good as he is I groan every time I see his name in a box score. He is going to be fall apart in the postseason.

JC Boscan III

July 1st, 2011
7:43 pm

Look at Venters’ performance and comments down the stretch last year — he kept saying he was OK. Then, after the season, he admitted he had been fatigued. His ERA the last month of the 2010 regular season was terrible, and he’s being worked more now! Hopefully, the Braves management hasn’t already forgotten this.

Daniel

July 1st, 2011
7:49 pm

its about time frediot, hes going to manage our bullpen into 3 tommy john surgerys

Carroll Rogers

July 1st, 2011
7:50 pm

Guess Guthrie wanted no part of McCann

fred

July 1st, 2011
7:53 pm

not after giving up 38 homers in two years…

Chris from the Rock

July 1st, 2011
7:53 pm

Hey, I know how to avoid overuse of Venters, O’Flaherty and Kimbrel: The offense scoring lots of runs for a change!

jjschiller

July 1st, 2011
7:56 pm

He really doesn’t get it, does he?

Down on isn’t the problem you numb skull… Up 4 is the problem!

wahoo wah

July 1st, 2011
7:57 pm

Since Fredi is supposedly Bobby’s protege, surely this was expected. Nobody could run a reliever into the ground like Bobby.

Bob in SF

July 1st, 2011
8:02 pm

If Fredi was serious about not overusing Jonny he wouldn’t have pitched him up by 4 last week.

FantasyBaseballHotStove

July 1st, 2011
8:06 pm

Very necessary given his recent work. I wouldn’t mind seeing Kimbrel’s work cut down a bit too.

extremus

July 1st, 2011
8:11 pm

It would greatly help if the Braves were actually able to generate enough offense that a deficit wasn’t practically ALWAYS a single run or two; then the pressure to use Venters constantly would be off, and the entire pitching staff would be able to have some needed wiggle-room.

If there were ever any season to be a “buyer” on the trade market for a good, consistent hitter and/or speedy position player, 2011 would be it for the Braves. I do recommend keeping Jurrjens, but we have enough of an excess of really good MLB-caliber pitchers in our system to use one or even two as bargaining chips for the right price.

bravos007

July 1st, 2011
8:19 pm

i just don’t understand why it took fredi SO LONG to get this. why in the heck was venters pitching with the braves UP FIVE TO ONE? bone-headed move….

bulls eye

July 1st, 2011
8:24 pm

Yes Nate….JS wouldn’t have made that catch

NorCal Brave

July 1st, 2011
8:29 pm

There’s strain on all the pitchers due to offensive shortcomings. Look at tonight’s lineup: McCann and Freeman are the only guys hitting with any consistency. I dare say it will take more than trading for one bat to get the team average up. Braves hitters joke that it’s a good thing they do better with RISP; how about getting a few more opportunities by getting more guys on?

bravos007

July 1st, 2011
8:30 pm

LOL shafer would have made the catch without the struggle…..he is known internally as the best defender in the braves entire organization.

bulls eye

July 1st, 2011
8:32 pm

McCann will be starting All-Star catcher. Looks like everyone on NYY & Red Sox will play NL stars..Still not fail way to vote as all you have to do is make up faults e-mail and vote all night and day.
Chipper was 2nd at 3b..

Kris in Oz

July 1st, 2011
8:32 pm

Wonder what it would take to pull Kemp away from the Dodgers? He would be a huge addition to our offense and the long-term solution at CF

Jim Hartwell

July 1st, 2011
8:34 pm

Can someone tell me why we have so much trouble with our first game after road trips?

bulls eye

July 1st, 2011
8:36 pm

bravos007…thats just opinion LOL. The other day JS made a great catch and a few said Nate wouldn’t have made the play…Both would have..so my 8:24 was pay back. They both good but not great.

Bill

July 1st, 2011
8:43 pm

Internally Constanza is best defensive cf and most speed in organization.

Bill

July 1st, 2011
8:50 pm

JJ got a no-no going starting 6th.

the truth...

July 1st, 2011
9:05 pm

Yeah Bill…..you and Chip shoot your mouths off and there it went……

….superstition….? NOT….

….don’t count your money while you’re sitting at the table…? Yes

…in other words shut up and talk about it when it’s done….. get it?

the truth...

July 1st, 2011
9:07 pm

…that’s the way it has been done for 100 years in baseball you know?…

Venters Left Arm

July 1st, 2011
9:14 pm

Fredi, thanks for the rest. I thought I was going to have to file a claim for worker’s compensation. Maybe you came to your senses in time to “save” me!

NorCal Brave

July 1st, 2011
9:19 pm

Fredi again gambles with the hit and run with his strikeout prone second baseman and pays the price.
Awful!

LOB Braves

July 1st, 2011
9:20 pm

Hey Fredi. Here’s a tip for you. Don’t send any runner stealing with Uggla up. He is a strike em out throw em out every time.

the truth...

July 1st, 2011
9:20 pm

Running Freeman with Uggla batting is plain stupid Freddie……….just stupid….

jbone

July 1st, 2011
9:20 pm

someone………anyone tell me what is the answer to Uggla’s issues. he has lost all confidence and his swing……maybe a trip to AAA? just asking

LOB Braves

July 1st, 2011
9:22 pm

I could make a fortune betting on Uggla to strike out. He is a lock.

the truth...

July 1st, 2011
9:22 pm

..especially with this catcher…..wake up Freddi, wake up!!

Bill

July 1st, 2011
9:28 pm

the truth..”superstition is the players in dugout and coaches etc.”
90 % of fans have talked about it to each other plus radio etc.
I’m sure Bill & Chip caused the fastball down middle to be hit.
You shut your mouth if you want someones mouth shut. get it?

bravos007

July 1st, 2011
9:37 pm

i really want to like Fredi but his decisions lately are just plain DUMB. he’s seems like he’s not working with much sense these days. hit and run with struggla? freddie running? so dumb

LOB Braves

July 1st, 2011
9:44 pm

Thank you chipper. I thought it would be another 1st and 3rd and no out with the Braves not scoring. McAnn tried his best but Chipper spoiled it.

Bill

July 1st, 2011
9:47 pm

internally Fredi is best mgr in Braves organization..007

Good job Chipper.

the truth...

July 1st, 2011
9:48 pm

Joe just said Kimbrel is warming up….no Jurgens in the dugout….

Even Joe said “give the bullpen a night off”…………..

Not Freddie…..why do that????

Amazing…Jurgens will have 4 days off…..and Kimbrel will be needed the next game for sure…the way our offense has been…..

Come on Freddi…..wake up man, wake up man…..

bring back blauser

July 1st, 2011
9:48 pm

chipper uses his head to get another run

the truth...

July 1st, 2011
9:49 pm

Bill….kiss off…..

the truth...

July 1st, 2011
9:50 pm

The guys in the dugout don’t talk about it….sometimes they won’t even sit next to the pitcher between innings….Joe Simpson didn’t say a word….Chip ran his mouth….his dad or grand dad would not have said anything….

Bill

July 1st, 2011
9:50 pm

like you did….

Nuff Said

July 1st, 2011
9:51 pm

is one of the dumbest phrases coined by internet blogs and forums.

Please stuff using it and just spell the word out….enough said.

Hinske Da Man

July 1st, 2011
9:52 pm

Uggla is a useless piece of crap.

bravos007

July 1st, 2011
9:53 pm

uggla you seriously need to see a shrink. your head is totally screwed up. get help man.

LOB Braves

July 1st, 2011
9:54 pm

Two worst hitters on Braves in this order: 1. Uggla 2. Gonzalez

the truth...

July 1st, 2011
9:54 pm

I think Joe Simpson called Freddie and asked him what the heck was he doing?

Bill

July 1st, 2011
9:57 pm

Everybody up TRUTH!

robert

July 1st, 2011
9:58 pm

OMG uggla is awefull ,how long do we wait on him hope not as long as Mclouse

Bill

July 1st, 2011
9:59 pm

Happy Birthday to Walter Banks. 8 years I was in 106 next to Walter.

bravos007

July 1st, 2011
10:00 pm

NEWS ALERT: Fredi did not use his bullpen. should be front page news in the AM

Joe Tess Fish House

July 1st, 2011
10:00 pm

Jergens is and idot. He could of a had a no hiter but he blew it. Way 2 go Jergens.

bravos007

July 1st, 2011
10:03 pm

i realize there are rumors that JJ will leave Atlanta…but…i hope he remembers that he is pitching to the best catcher in baseball. that makes a HUGE difference in his games. plus, ross is in atlanta too. still think he will leave but dang he’s good.

Bill

July 1st, 2011
10:04 pm

Thanks to JJ Fredi didn’t have to use bull-pen. Great job JJ our All- Star pitcher.

the truth...

July 1st, 2011
10:06 pm

…..who is this Tom Hart dude on the post game show with Ron Gant….???

bravos007

July 1st, 2011
10:09 pm

@the truth…don’t know but i actually like him. nice change…anybody but bryan jordan!

bravos007

July 1st, 2011
10:10 pm

(or chip carey…so annoying)

Bill

July 1st, 2011
10:16 pm

Tom Hart~~Does College Football, Basketball on Camcast Sports, CBS, Fox Sports, Big Ten net work.
He also was play by play announer for The Tenn Smokies. Does PR for Fox Sports.

matt young

July 1st, 2011
10:17 pm

Put me in centerfield coach.

Bill

July 1st, 2011
10:21 pm

He did a great job, maybe need him all the time.

Good day and Happy 4th of July week- end everyone.. even the Truth & 007..everything was in funny~~ peace.

bring back blauser

July 1st, 2011
10:21 pm

when schafer is on base the batters behind him get pitches to hit wtg jordan. you made a star of heyward tonight

Largo

July 1st, 2011
10:23 pm

JJ knows how to get Venters some rest. Great game, JJ. Also, I’m glad Fredi finally listened to me. Damn, it’s hard to get his attention.

Who me?

July 1st, 2011
10:29 pm

If you’re not going to send Uggla down, for God’s sake man separate he and AGon….OMG, how bad can two hitters be back to back??? They’re both swinging at outside pitches so completely off the plate they’re having to wave at the ball …. Unbelievably bad….

Let me continue the mantra for the league’s worst hitting team:

Fire Larry Parrish Fire Larry Parrish Fire Larry Parrish Fire Larry Parrish Fire Larry Parrish – get the picture?

And the All-Star break is the perfect time to do it.

fred

July 1st, 2011
10:32 pm

how many coach have you known that Braves fired? but i do agree

Heisenberg

July 1st, 2011
10:40 pm

JJ has earned the start for AS game. Luckily Charlie Manual does not have the opportunity to pick his guy. No dis-respect to Ol Roy but JJ has just been better. Bruce Botchy will make like Spike Lee and do the right thing.

fred

July 1st, 2011
10:43 pm

Yes and Brian McCann will catch him..

Jipper Chones

July 1st, 2011
11:01 pm

This dumbass manager doesnt know how to manage. When you are to give your very valuable reliever some time off, you should just do it silently without letting the press and the whole world know. Also, it would help if Venters was managed better since the start of the year, we wouldnt have gotten to this point. Stupid management. Boooby Cox and his son Freakaliz are the same.

the truth...

July 1st, 2011
11:05 pm

I hate to say it but if Freddi had said nothing about Venters needing rest and just held him back, every sports broadcaster in the city would have been screaming that something must be wrong with him….

And this blog would be screamng louder….

Who cares….just give him the rest he needs….

Like others have said, what our bullpen needs is for the offense to score 5 runs for a week or so…..

Fire Parrish Hire McCann!!

July 1st, 2011
11:10 pm

How about Brad McCann for new hitting coach…..????

Brian’s brother and personal hitting coach it seems got Brian straightened out a few weeks ago…

Let’s light this blog lit up with that suggestion!!

sup

July 1st, 2011
11:13 pm

Peter thats all you have to say? LOSER

J-Man

July 1st, 2011
11:18 pm

Fred McGriff should be the hitting coach and we know he is sitting on some of those Tom Emanski tapes :)

Heisenberg

July 1st, 2011
11:20 pm

I wonder if Fredi G is thinking about getting E-day Johnny on the AS team. Prior to the road trip, he could not be ignored. Then gives up more runs in 2 appearances than he had all season possibly hurting his chances. So the manager says it is my fault I have over-used him. Otherwise his ERA would still be below 1. Watch how bad he makes Philly hitters look after some rest and there is no way to keep him off the AS team.

Quite Frankly most of the AS team pitching slots should be Braves and Phils. JJ, Tommy Boy, Venters from Braves and Ol Roy, Clifford, and Dorothy Hamel from Phils. That is 6 spots right there and I would not rule out Kimbrel just yet.

jj

July 1st, 2011
11:28 pm

Great game JJ and Braves! I am enjoying this team and I believe we are in for a special summer.We have some holes,but it is a long season and I for one believe Uggs will show up on time.We get Prado back and he will cause Heyward to drop in the order and hopfully this will seperate Uggs and Gonzo in the order.I hope JJ,Hanson,Beachy,and whoever else want it bad enough will be our rotation for the next five to seven years before we have to worry about pitching.I like our chances in the second half and our future with Freeman,Heyward,Shaffer,Prado,Mac,ande of least I forget our pitching staff.Oh yeah I even believe in Uggla also.Now that’s faith.GO BRAVES…

jim

July 1st, 2011
11:37 pm

Fire Larry Parrish?

Heyward seems to have regained his pre-injury form.
Schafer does not have a high average but has been having a good approach in most of his ABs.
Freeman has shown great improvement since the start of the year.
Chipper and McCann will rely on their family for advice no matter who the coach.
Can’t complain about Conrad or Hinske or Ross.
That leaves Uggla, Gonzo, and McLouth — McLouth is having a better season than last year — not a great endorsement, but Would Walt Hriniak, Rudy Jaramillo, or Ted Williams be able to do anything with Uggla, Gonzo, and McLouth? McLouth is doing about as well as he is capable. Gonzo will swing at a low outside curve and a fastball over his head no matter who is coaching him. So the only one we can blame Larry Parrish on is Uggla — Is it Parrish’s fault that Uggla won’t try to go with the pitch or show more patience at the plate?

Bigwheel

July 1st, 2011
11:38 pm

I know its not funny our best reliever is showing signs of being tired, but it had to have been humorous to write ‘watched his ERA climb to 1.59′

Who me?

July 2nd, 2011
1:03 am

Jim – in a word, yes. Look I know pitching’s good across the League but this team is far too talented to be last in the league in any offensive category. It shouldn’t be tolerated at this level but will be for this season at least. Larry Parrish should be breaking mirrors and walking under ladders because there is nothing he can do in his current role to get fired by the Braves. This management team is willing to let the team muddle along in 2nd place in their division as long as they make a wildcard slot in September.

So much potential here it hurts to watch some nights.

I’m just hoping the other starting 8 seriously work at their hitting over the break.

Fire Parrish Hire McCann!!

July 2nd, 2011
1:58 am

Hey I’d go for McGriff if he were willing and able….however many times the case is being great in a skill or art does not mean you can teach it.

Check out the Maddux brothers….Mike is the teacher and clearly Greg was the great pitcher….

The McCann family are talented baseball foks…but Brian is the stud hitter while his Dad and brother are the teachers….they have a baseball school in fact.

And I suspect that the Braves could hire the two of them for less than the price of McGriff or half a dozen other former Major Leaguers….

If the “other McCann” could help Uggla or Gonzalez….or any of the rest to find a bit of consistency that isn’t there….it would be quite a feat…

You quote a bit of success that has shown from time to time with Heyward…McLouth, Shafer….well it has not exactly been consistent to this point you know….

I’ll take the recent glimmers of hope in Heyward….and in Freeman if you want to say it was all that recent….but I don’t yet see it as consistent….

When we see a week of 5 run games then we’ll be where we should be and we’ll all stop wishing for a change in hitting coaches…

I have no illusion that Freddi will “kick Parrish to the curb”….but we can hope….

Terry B.

July 2nd, 2011
2:46 am

Fire Parrish? PULEEZE! It’s a grind this year for hitters all over MLB. Not many .300 hitters, so it’s time to realize that this is a pitcher’s year. Now, anything over .250 is good.
To feel better, ignore batting average (always over-rated anyway) and check on base pct.
Every batter knows his performance is judged, but can only do what he is capable of. They are trying! They are the guys that made it this far through lots of competition.
Fire a hitting coach? Get a grip! This is not a steroid induced ballclub- never has been. Enjoy the way the Braves knock out a starter by taking pitches and running up his count to get to a pitcher with less impact than the starter in the later innings.
It’s a chess match every game now- and the Braves have the pieces to make this work!
Not worried about Phils. Braves actually have the 2nd best record in NL now, just waiting to make a move.
Relax and enjoy all the intracacies of a game- don’t worry about 5 run games! Braves are ok.

Me

July 2nd, 2011
8:31 am

For Chipper and McCann using their families for help with their swings…Chippers dad has been there with him his whole life coaching him, practically watching every game he’s ever played, studied film and everything over his career…of course he’s going to know what Chipper is doing wrong. Same thing for McCann, im sure him and his brother have done the same thing…so it would be a lot easier for them than it would be for sommeone else to fix their problems

John Galt

July 2nd, 2011
10:06 am

O’Venbrill is overworked because we have 3 guys- Sherrill, Proctor and Linebrink- that we are scared to use, and rightfully so. Therefore, if the game is on the line we only have 3 men in the bullpen, and with our offense being so poor and our starting pitching so good, the games are always close.

If we wanr to win now, maybe we should take some of those young guns from the farm and throw them into the bullpen.

I have long been an advocate of hiring a Jones or a McCann to be our hitting coach, but I just realized the problem- if we hire them, we can’t fire them. Maybe a consulting contract? Uddla needs to go personally to one of those two guys himself, if he isn’t too stubborn to listen.

Ted M

July 2nd, 2011
10:09 am

“Wonder what it would take to pull Kemp away from the Dodgers? He would be a huge addition to our offense and the long-term solution at CF”

The same thing it would take to pull McCann away from the Braves.

John Galt

July 2nd, 2011
10:13 am

As for a position player- the Braves need to do NOTHING. We have the pieces to win bug with this lineup, except for 2B right now, and we all know that economics will keep Uggla in the lineup. I like what Schaffer is doing a LOT- his average is poor but he is doing all of the things you want from a LO hitter- working the count, distracting pitchers, helping the people behind him in the lineup.

If Chipper retires we need a RH power bat in left, but for this year, if I am Wren, I cut some dead wood from the bullpen, bring up some young guns to work in the pen and watch these veteran starters up close.

Gonzalez frustrates me sometimes, but the results, with our payroll, validate him. Can you imagine where this team would be with Moylan and Medlen healthy?

Ted M

July 2nd, 2011
10:18 am

Uggla is the every day 2nd baseman even if he’s hitting .180 at the end of August.

I hate that fact too

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