Atlanta Braves relief ace Jonny Venters has been anything but the dominating pitcher he was most of last year. Why? If you've watched many of his recent outings, you may have noticed that he's not getting the same dive on his pitches that he has gotten in the past. There's a reason:
Venters is working on correcting whatever has gone wrong. He insists it’s not physical, constantly saying this month that he feels fine, that the left shoulder soreness that bothered him this spring is no longer a worry.
He’s reviewed and compared video from 2011 and this season. He’s worked with pitching coach Roger McDowell in side sessions. He’s practicing the slight adjustments he’s made.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez thinks Venters is holding his hand differently than in the past. The change in his release is affecting the path of the ball, causing it to stay high and not sink.
"It’s going sideways instead of going down, and to me, that’s just tinkering a little bit with the hand position," Gonzalez said. "Sometimes the hand gets a little bit this way (demonstrating a sideways motion), instead of up, and the sinker goes this way (up), instead of down."
Hopefully Jonny, with the help of the Braves coaching staff, can get back The Jonny Venters Slider, otherwise, Jonny might not be that good.