Atlanta Braves fans can only hope the effort Jonny Venters put forth in his Spring Training debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates is not a sign of his impending 2013 season. He gave up three hits and a two-run homer in his inning of work Sunday afternoon.
The damage came after Clint Barmes uncorked a two-run homer in the fifth inning off Venters in the Braves' 9-2 loss, but he also gave up two other hits in the inning.
"It was the first outing, and I left some pitches up," Venters said on braves.com. "But my arm felt good, and my mechanics felt good. I'm obviously not happy with the results. But from a feel standpoint, I feel good about it."
Venters followed his 2012 Grapefruit League debut – when he gave up a homer – with another shaky debut. He would parlay that debut into a 6.08 ERA in 31 appearances from May 1-July 4. A two-week disabled list stint allowed him to come back fresh and throw up a 1.71 ERA in 26 appearances through the rest of the season.
So it seems Venters tired last season, but he blamed his performance Sunday on an inability to control his sinking two-seam fastball.
"I definitely feel like my arm has a little more life in it [than it did last year]," Venters said. "I feel good. Warming up was really good. First time in a game is always a little different feeling. I'm positive about it. I really feel good mechanically and physically. I've just got to get the sinker down."
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