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Jonny Venters recorded a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save of the season Thursday for the Atlanta Braves. Manager Fredi Gonzalez was giving Craig Kimbrel a rest; the righty had appeared in game action the previous two days, including a 28-pitch Wednesday.
Soria: Better, but not out of woods
This isn't a change in the closer picture; Gonzalez told both relievers a few weeks ago that he would throw Venters into a save chance once in a while, whether to rest Kimbrel or just to give him an occasional opp. Kimbrel is the leader here, but this reinforces the cause of owning Venters and handcuffing him to Kimbrel.
- J.J. Putz sat out Thursday's action with lower back stiffness, which might've contributed to his 24-pitch blown save Wednesday. The righty said it isn't a big deal, but there's always a bit more concern with these things given Putz's extensive injury history.
When they needed closure Thursday, the Arizona Diamondbacks used David Hernandez, who came through with a perfect frame for his second conversion of the season. It isn't vital that you pick up Hernandez now, but he's next in line, and it wouldn't hurt, if deep league owners have enough roster room and need to speculate. Though it seems like a minor ailment, sometimes beating the rush helps.
- Joakim Soria's return to Kansas City Royals closing wasn't smooth (two singles and a walk on 28 pitches), but he left the bases loaded to preserve the one-run victory. He still has work to do; his stuff was a little better, but he let a pair of 0-2 counts become a 3-2 single and a walk. Though odds say Soria will work through his issues, don't go dropping Aaron Crow just yet. It's best to see how this develops in the near future.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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