Braves Will Use Jonny Venters And Craig Kimbrel As Co-Closers

From an AP report this evening it looks like Fredi Gonzalez and his Atlanta Braves will use both young pitchers as co-closers to start the season:

Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel will enter the season sharing the closer's role. Manager Fredi Gonzalez isn't concerned about not having a full-time answer for the ninth inning.

"In a perfect world, you'd like to name one guy, but I can't sit here and say May 15 is going to be the day or June 20," he said. "Maybe we'll go the whole way. It's not a bad thing. It really isn't."

Kimbrel has struggled by having some very bad innings this spring, but he has also showed the ability to escape trouble with the strikeout and dominate opposing batters at times. Venters has not shown the same strikeout ability he did last year, but he has been virtually unhittable (just 2 hits in 8 innings).

Last week Talking Chop laid out the reasons that Venters should get the job over Kimbrel, though Craig has turned in some good performances since then, those reasons still hold true for me. Still, it's great that the Braves have two guys this good. Just like our glut of starting pitching, two guys who can close is a good problem to have.

[UPDATE 3/23 @ 11:15am]

It was pointed out to me by DOB that this is not really new news. In fact this story was written by the AP writer a while back, but was only just now run on national news outlets (including the AJC). So while it is nice to think we're getting an update, the dual closer option has been Fredi's thinking throughout the spring, and apparently nothing has changed.

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