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Venters available after nice respite

Venters available after nice respite

Venters available after nice respite
ATLANTA -- Braves reliever Jonny Venters was once again available out of the bullpen Monday after not pitching over the weekend against the Orioles.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said while the club was in Seattle that he wanted to give the first-time All-Star at least a couple of days off during Atlanta's series with Baltimore. He accomplished that, as the left-hander received all three games off in addition to Thursday's off-day.

He was available on Sunday in the Braves' 5-4 loss, but did not come in to pitch. He did however warm up twice in the bullpen.

"Yesterday was the first day I threw, so I was pretty pumped up about it," Venters said. "I felt great yesterday, so hopefully I can get in there."

Venters has allowed six runs in his last 2 2/3 innings after allowing just three in the previous 48 1/3 innings. He said his mechanics gradually deteriorated, but has since made adjustments to correct them.

"I was just kind of rushing down the hill," he said. "My arm was kind of dragging. I was throwing with a lot more arm than I needed to be throwing with."

Venters said he gradually started to hurt his arm as a result. But with the previous four days off to rest and correct his mechanics, he said his arm feels good and he's ready to return to work.

Venters thought his recent struggles -- which pushed his ERA from 0.56 to 1.59 -- would hurt his chances to make the All-Star team. Naturally, he was surprised when he saw his name called.

"I kind of wrote it off, actually, after that road trip I had," he said. "I really thought I blew that one."

Venters said the news didn't truly hit him until he sat down with his family Sunday night.

"We sat down and talked about it, and it was pretty cool to think about being in the same clubhouse as some of those guys," he said. "Getting mentioned with some of those names is really special."

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