The Braves are clearly in need of bullpen help and as the franchise has been wont to do, they’ve decided to turn to a familiar face when it comes to getting that help. For us fans, there’s plenty of sentimental value here as well as the team has managed to bring Jonny Venters back into the fold.
The Atlanta #Braves today acquired LHP Jonny Venters from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for an international signing slot.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 27, 2018
Venters, 33, went 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA (6 ER/14.0 IP) in 22 games, one start, for Tampa Bay this season.
Venters has thrown exactly 14 innings this season, with a 4.80 FIP, a 7.07 K/9 rate and a 3.86 BB/9 walk rate, which has been good for 0.1 fWAR over that span. Additionally, he’s making more use of his curveball and sinker than his fastball. We’re a long way from 2012, so the Braves definitely are not getting the version of Venters that they had back then.
Still, it’s amazing that Venters has even made it back to the point where the Braves even figured that bringing him back would be a good idea. He’s shown astonishing resiliency in recovering from three Tommy John surgeries in order to make it back to the bigs in the first place, so it really feels like it’s only right that he gets to return to the franchise that he came up with as he completes his comeback bid.
The jury is out on whether or not Venters will serve as a substantial upgrade in Atlanta’s bullpen, but it will be extremely easy to root for the guy as he returns to the franchise.