LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Ten days without pitching had reliever Jonny Venters eagerly anticipating some action. He’ll get it Thursday when he returns for an inning against the Nationals.
Sidelined by soreness in his upper left arm near the shoulder, Venters pronounced himself fit after a 25-pitch bullpen session Tuesday.
“I wasn’t throwing 100 percent, but I was getting on it,” he said Wednesday morning. “Felt really good. Hopefully get in there today or tomorrow. I’m gonna try to talk myself into the game today, but they probably won’t let me.”
He was right – the Braves didn’t let him pitch Wednesday against the New York Yankees, but have him slotted for an inning Thursday at Viera, Fla. It’ll be his first appearance since March 18, when he was charged with two hits and two runs (one earned) in one inning against Baltimore.
That was the second game in a row that Venters allowed two hits and third time in five games that he was scored upon.
Venters, who had a 1.89 ERA in a major league-leading 164 appearances over the past two seasons, has pitched just five innings this spring. He wants to pitch in two or three games in the final week, but added that he’d be ready even if the season began now.
“I’ll be ready, no matter how many games I pitch,” he said.
Braves trade for minor league OF/1B
The Braves traded for minor league outfielder/first baseman Christian Marrero from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for cash considerations. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Marrero, 25, spent the past two seasons in Double-A and last year hit .293 with a .385 OBP, 25 doubles, eight triples, 12 homers and 10 stolen bases in 115 games.
The Miami native was selected by the Braves in the June 2004 draft (20th round) but didn’t sign. The White Sox took him in the 22nd round a year later.
Up next: Nationals
The Braves will take all of their projected lineup regulars except center fielder Michael Bourn to Thursday’s game against the Nationals in Viera, Fla. Lefty Mike Minor will start for the Braves against right-hander Edwin Jackson, one of the Nationals’ offseason acquisitions. He has a 6.88 ERA this spring.
It’s the last road trip of the Grapefruit League season for the Braves, except for a split-squad game against the Astros on Friday just 20 minutes down the Osceola Parkway at Kissimmee, Fla. They break camp after Monday’s game against the New York Mets and return to Atlanta for an exhibition game against the Braves’ prospects Tuesday at Triple-A Gwinnett’s Coolray Field.
The Braves will travel to New York on Wednesday and open the season April 5 against the Mets.