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.