They call him ‘Everyday Jonny.’
And rightfully so. Pike County native and Atlanta Braves reliever, Jonny Venters leads the major leagues in appearances at 44, most recently in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to San Diego, in which he suffered his first loss of the season.
44 Appearances and just ONE loss? That’s not too bad from the boy born in Pikeville. It’s also the same amount of wins the Braves have at 44-35.
In Atlanta’s 23 games in the Month of June, Venters has pitched in 14 of them, the most of any reliever in the Major leagues. He’s on pace to pitch in 90 games and dangerously close to 100 innings of work this season for the Braves.
Venters is on his way to becoming an All-Star in just his second season in the Major Leagues. He has a 4-1 record with 1.29 ERA and 51 strikeouts in just 49 innings. He has yet to give up an extra-base hit to a left-handed hitter, who are just hitting .122 against him. That’s 5 hits in 13 innings of work.
Against right-handed batters, Venters has yielded 23 hits in 35 and 2/3 innings of work which is good enough for a .187 batting average.
Venters is brought in during the 7th or 8th innings and has a nasty sinker that clocks on the radar somewhere between 95-98 miles an hour. Just ten days ago, he lead the majors in ERA (0.44) was fifth in opponents’ batting average (.141).
Venters is called to the mound in almost any situation. Runners on first, first and second, second, runners on second and third. In all of those situations, he has a perfect E.R.A of Zero.
When I did the story on Venters last season while the Braves were in a three-game series with Cincinnati, former Manager Bobby Cox said he very well could be the closer of the Future for the Braves. In 2011, he’s converted three saves in five chances in a “closer-by-committee” with Craig Kimbrel. Venters has thrown 11 more innings than Kimbrel and has appeared in five more games.
So does this make him the best reliever in baseball? The stats are there, but you decide. Send me an e-mail or a reply on Twitter or just “Like” my facebook page and give me your opinion on ‘Everyday Jonny.’