Jonny Venters

Came out of nowhere last year to anchor the Braves’ bullpen, leading the team with 83 innings pitched in relief, second with 79 appearances (sixth in the league), and finished eighth in the rookie of the year voting. Not bad for a non-prospect who didn’t make the team out of spring training. He made a couple of appearances in the suburbs before being called up after Jo-Jo Reyes‘ latest (and last for the Braves) implosion, and pretty soon was the reliever you wanted on the spot when things got hairy. Throwing a heavy fastball with velocity, he combined getting lots of ground balls (more than twice as many ground balls than fly balls) with lots of strikeouts (10.1 per nine).

Unsurprisingly considering past events, Bobby used Venters a lot, and eventually he broke down a bit. “Everyday Jonny” didn’t start pitching badly, but he wasn’t nearly as dominant the last couple of months of the season as he was early on. His ERA for the season was 1.95, but that’s fluky, caused by an unusual number of runs being scored as unearned (12 of his 30 allowed) so his “run average” was over three. If you’re a ground-ball pitcher with a weak infield defense behind you, these things are likely to happen.

Venters allowed only one homer all season, and got eleven GIDP, both impressive marks. His biggest problem was an occasional batch of control difficulties, not surprising in a pitcher throwing much harder than he had before. (The reasons for that are probably a combination of a full-time switch to the bullpen from starting and some mechanical adjustments.) Had 24 holds, and I don’t know if that’s a good total or not. (Checking… it was fourth in the league behind two Padres and LOOGY of LOOGYs Arthur Rhodes.) Also had one save, four “blown” saves (meaning blown holds) and pitched a lot (about a third of the time) in high-leverage situations. That would make you think he’d be a good closer candidate, but the Braves had other ideas. He may close occasionally depending upon the matchups; for instance, if Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are due up in the ninth.

Jonny Venters Statistics

99 thoughts on “Jonny Venters”

  1. From the previous thread…

    111—Alabama’s very good. Definitely glad we only play them once in the regular season. If you think the officiating favored VU in that game, though, you are mistaken.

    Seriously, can VU please get healthy? I’m tired of having to play good teams while short-handed.

  2. Predicting a UK upset at Memorial this weekend. It would be their first big conference road win of the season.

  3. So basically the SEC front office is going to press the Buffalo Wild Wings buttons until the conference only gets four NCAA bids. I have no idea what that means for Alabama/Georgia at the end of the regular season, but I suspect poisonous gas might be involved.

  4. for Kevin Lee in the previous thread –

    If Jimmer Fredette passed like Rajon Rondo (and didn’t comb his hair), he’d be Pete Maravich.

  5. Anthony Grant is a class act and a helluva coach. Glad to have him in the SEC.

    St. John’s is a delight to watch (at least when they’re at home). UCONN is turning into what everyone thought they were before the start of the year.

  6. Rookie (to sabremetrics) question: wouldn’t the proper way to compare WAR be to total the team WAR and then make your comparisons?

    Honest question: why is the Federal Government involved in a case of whether a baseball player used steroids?

  7. As a Georgia fan, I like Donovan a lot. He’s always been complimentary- even exceedingly so- of our basketball program. Back in the early 00s we had a nice little back-and-forth going with Florida in hoops, before our house of cards collapsed and they won natty titles. Ships in the night.

    We’re actually back to the back-and-forth again, but that’s more a product of him not earning his pay the last two years than anything. Took Florida a while to get right this year- a loss to Jacksonville U., really?- but they look like kings of this odd conference for now.

  8. I’ve always liked Donovan, too, despite Florida rivaling UK for number of players I can’t stand — guys like Matt Walsh and Joakim Noah, ugh — but that’s largely because he and Stallings have such a good relationship. I tend to fully adopt Stallings’ opinions on coaches around the league.

  9. The complete-tool quota on Florida has gone down since the early 00s. Noah’s schtick was some flop-sweat look-at-me desperation, but overall he was harmless.

    I mean, Haslem broke a Georgia fan’s nose at a game once. Don’t see those types stalking the O-Dome anymore.

  10. @16,


    Why are you giving up Freeman for Pujols? Freeman is younger and cost controlled. :) I mean, let’s be reasonable here.

  11. Prado


    That might work.

  12. I hope that Venters isn’t a one season wonder. Last season I loved the kid in high leverage situations. Lets say he has another good season. Any chance he’ll get another stab at starting?

  13. Billy Donovan is douche for what he did to the Magic. That being said, I’m real happy with Stan Van Gundy. But Donovan is still a douche.

  14. No surprise: UK beat Vandy for number of Academic All-Americans last semester.

    (This is how you trash talk Commodores on game day.)

  15. Well justhank, if you play basketball at Kentucky, you have an automatic 4.0. I heard John Wall was the best student in Underwater Basket Weaving Honors

  16. Breaking news from the main site: Gonzalez excited about spring training starting.

    Man, I can’t wait for some real baseball news.

  17. Stu – Your trade proposal of Freeman, Delgado, Teheran for Pujols, Rasmus is interesting in that I cannot decide who hangs up first.

  18. It’s a very tough call. Frankly, I don’t think it’s a trade either team can make. If (when) Pujols leaves, it leaves such a chasm in the Braves lineup. Similarly, I don’t think the Cardinals can afford to lose Puhols AND Rasmus with the only position player they’re getting back in return being Freeman, who is unproven. I dunno. It’s a really interesting deal to think about, though.

  19. Regarding the trade: If you win the W.S. in 2011, you regret nothing. If (and much, much, much more likely) you don’t, then in five years, that Teixeira trade will look downright fair for the Braves compared to this one.

  20. Well, the only way I make that deal as the Braves is if I can re-sign Pujols, which means I need to know I am getting a $110M to $120M payroll over the next two years. Also, I only make the trade if I am the Cardinals, knowing that I will not be able to keep Pujols after this year.

    If that is the case, then to analyze the value, I would think of this in 2 pieces, Freeman for Rasmus, and Teheran + Delgado for Pujols.

    I think Rasmus is slightly more valuable than Freeman. Despite less remaining team control, Rasmus is somewhat proven at the MLB level and plays a more premium defensive position. This exchange is probably slightly better for the Braves.

    I think very highly of Teheran. He might be the best pitcher in the minors, but I am not sure we would get proper value for him in a trade. Personally, I would be very reluctant to let go of both these guys, but, due to the uncertainty of pitching prospects, I think it might take slightly more to get Pujols.

    Cards hang up first.

    Maybe, throwing Mycal Jones in, or Pastornicky gets it done. How about Jordan Schafer?

  21. For the record, I proposed it with a Pujols extension in mind. I wouldn’t do it without one, either. Obviously.

  22. If there’s a guaranteed Pujols extension, then there is no way that I wouldn’t be on board for this one.

  23. Rany on the Royals: Digital Digest..

    My initial reaction was to Frenchy’s inclusion, I must admit, kind of juvenile – I reveled in the train-wreck image of bloggers asking Francoeur to his face variations of the question, “why do you suck so bad?” But after some reflection, I realized how diabolically brilliant a move this was. Knowing how the blogosphere felt towards Francoeur, the Royals (specifically VP of Communications Mike Swanson and Director of Media Relations Dave Holtzman) decided to unleash the full force of Francoeur’s intangibles on his biggest critics.

  24. I also smoke pot before all Nationals games.

    Wait, players use drugs ? I’m shocked! I’m more shocked than Bobby Valentine.

  25. I don’t think we could give Puljos $30 million a year. He is a Cub, Card, Yankee, Met or Red Sock next year. Of those teams, the Yankees, Cubs and Cards are the front runners. I would imagine the Cards pony up the money.

  26. The McLouth-AAG showdown is going to be epic. It is going to be like Rocky II, Bill Conti score and all.

  27. I’m thinking about mixing it up this year with my fantasy league by going with points.

    Anyone have suggestions for point distributions for both hitters and pitchers?

  28. I’m fine with everything as long as Pujols doesn’t sign with the Phillies. And DON’T tell me they haven’t got the money.

  29. Assuming the Bosox sign Gonzalez to along term contract, I don’t see either the Yankees or Boston in the picture for Pujols.

  30. I think the Phillies are stuck with Howard. On the other hand, I can see Tex and Puljos rotation at first and DH.

  31. Yeah, it’s hard to see the Yankees, Red Sox, or Phillies getting in on the Pujols sweepstakes. Don’t get me wrong: the former could always make a move, but they have Tex at 1st and I have to think that A-Rod will be their DH soon enough.

    I also think that the financial issues of both the Mets and Dodgers could jeopardize each team’s pursuit of Pujols, especially in the latter case.

    I would say, right now, that Pujols most likely becomes a Cub if the Cardinals fail to sign him, with the Blue Jays behind them as the dark-horse candidate.

  32. I think the Red Sox sign him. They love having a pair of monster boppers. They’ll get the Adrian Gonzalez deal resolved by the end of the season and then bring in Pujols to replace Ortiz, whose contract will have just expired.

  33. Sox & Yanks would sign him to keep him away from other team. One of those teams will not win AL East and AL division series this year, maybe both. Yankees’ owners did not have to pay death tax and be be flush with life insurance proceeds.

  34. I was thinking the same thing earlier. Teix at 22/yr is 2/3 of Albert’s salary for 4/5 of the performance. You’d have to think about it, especially if you could get some cash or another player from NY.

  35. That is interesting. It seems the Tex is usually healthier than Puljos too. I just think the Cards will spend the money and lock him in. There is a lot of pressure from their fan base to do it, they tend to try and keep them happy.

  36. Spike,

    Teix at 22/yr is probably 4/5 of Albert’s salary (assuming he gets 28 million/yr) for.. get this:


    36.8 fWar/ 8 years: 4.60 WAR/year over career
    36.7 rWar/ 8 years: 4.59 WAR/year over career


    80.6 fWar/ 10 years: 8.06 WAR/year over career
    83.8 rWar/ 10 years: 8.38 WAR/year over career

    Split the difference, and you get that Teixeira is producing about 56% of Albert’s level.

    Also, last year, Teixeira had his worst year since his rookie year last year, with 3.5 WAR. Last year, Albert had the worst year of his career with 7.5 WAR.

    Point is, Pujols is the greatest player of this generation, and at the end of it, will probably be in the discussion for the greatest player ever. Also, I’m really happy the Braves didn’t sign Teixeira.

  37. I have no idea why people say the Yankees won’t make a run at Pujols just because they already have Teixeria. Has he stated that he’ll never be a DH or something? Or that he wouldn’t be interested in 30 million per year?

  38. I would not assume Albert gets 28/yr – it’s going to be something in excess of 30, and for a very long time, 10 years minimum. I totally agree he is the vastly superior player – but Teix is signed to a shorter, cheaper deal, and that has value, as well as payroll flexibility. 30/M yr for ages 37-40 will be very interesting for Albert and the team that signs him.

  39. If the Yankees get Pujols without giving up Teix it will be the tipping point at which the other owners finally say enough.

  40. John Jenkins is a bad mofo.

    Can’t decide if UK or the Hawks are more adept at choking in the last minutes of a game.

  41. Spike,

    I guess we disagree there. I don’t think that he gets 30 million unless the deal is less than 8 years, and I doubt he gets above 28 million if the deal is for 10 years. I’ll concede that I wouldn’t want to pay Albert that much during his late thirties, and there seems to be significant doubt in the media (including Joe P.) that he is being truthful about his age. But still, compared to Albert, Teixeira is not much. What’s it worth having the best player in the history of the game on your team?

  42. My guess is 8/$240M get Pujols. The dollars might be slightly more, but I do not think the years will be.

  43. I saw a bunch of baseball card packs from a few years ago at Dollar Tree. Since they’re a dollar each, I picked up a couple. Pulled a Joey Votto rookie .

    The only Brave I pulled out of the two packs was Jeffy Franchise. He had just won his first Gold Glove!

    I think if I ever buy baseball cards again, I will wait three years to open the packs. It’s kind of neat to see the cards knowing a bit about what they became.

  44. @82, My gut always told me the yips were neurological, but I guess Salty had a psychological problem. His recovery was awful quick.

    If those taps help him right now, that’s awesome. He can work on any underlying issues when there aren’t millions of dollars of future earnings relying on his ability to throw to the catcher.

  45. There’s also a big diligence issue that will come up — private investigators will get involved — over Pujols’ age if it goes to free agency. A lot of people think he’s at least two years older than his listed age. (He grew up in the States but was born in the Dominican.) If he will actually be 33 this year and not 31, a ten-year contract would include four seasons in his forties.

  46. Just noting, most-similar batters to Pujols:

    1. Albert Belle (848)
    2. Hank Greenberg (847) *
    3. Johnny Mize (826) *
    4. Juan Gonzalez (817)
    5. Larry Walker (805)
    6. Lance Berkman (803)
    7. Jim Edmonds (802)
    8. Chuck Klein (801) *
    9. Todd Helton (800)
    10. Jason Giambi (798)

    That is, most-similar now: their entire careers are being compared to what Pujols has already accomplished, through the listed age of 30. He’s already done about as much as three Hall of Famers and a lot of candidates did in their entire careers.

  47. Surely, Albert’s people have factored that in, one way or another. The other thing is, any exposure of his age surely would have happened by now, if there was any evidence. The Cards already signed him to a 100M dollar deal – I suspect there was due diligence done at that time, and the passage of the years since then will not make evidence to the contrary any easier to come by.

  48. Albert bitterly denies that he’s older, and bitterly denies that he has ever used any PEDs. Both rumors have dogged him, but less because of any evidence than the simple fact that he’s basically the greatest right-handed hitter in baseball history, and it’s kind of hard to know how to understand that.

    I wouldn’t have any trouble believing that either was true, but I haven’t seen any credible evidence.

  49. @82
    The tapping thing sounds real weird, but it can work. My buddy did it to help him quit chewing tobacco.

  50. On paying Puljos into his 40’s, why not. He will probably be closing in on some huge milestones and people would be paying out of the butt to see him play. So it might be worth it. Lets make a play for him and just become team Puljos.

  51. Spike, I was talking of a ten-year deal (a) starting in 2012, and (b) if he is actually two years older than his listed date. That takes him to his Age 43 season.

  52. Ah, I see with respect to (a). Sorry. I’d still take issue with the age thing, though. He came to this country as a junior in high school, and not as a baseball prospect either. Not much reason to lie about his age and go through the effort of obtaining a false birth certificate – an act that if discovered would have adversely impacted his parents attempt to emigrate. His own US Citizenship process would have looked in to this as well, certainly to the extent of verifying his birth certificate. In any event, the entire case for age jimmying is that he started out great, and he’s not from around here. There is no documentary or firsthand witness testimony that he is anything other than 28. Even in the case of a guy like Tejada, his driver’s license had the correct age – the team just never bothered to check.

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