I’ve been keeping an eye on this situation for about a week now as CRAZY Fredi Gonzalez, manager of the Atlanta Braves is up to no good again. If you remember Fredi Gonzalez from his Florida Marlins days. He often makes quick decisions on his bullpen and everyday starters for that matter. Kimbrel was 17/22 in save opportunities and currently leads all closers with 49 Ks. Gonzalez has temporarily removed Kimbrel from the closer role after struggling in back-to-back games. Gonzalez seems worried about his young closers confidence, but removing him from the role isn’t going to help. Jonny Venters has had an outstanding season so far, with a current streak of 22 scoreless innings and has posted a 0.44 ERA. His has displayed pinpoint control, walking only 11 batters in 40.2 innings, while striking out 43. Venters has out-pitched Kimbrel in nearly every category and certainly deserves a shot at the role. However, Venters is a lefty and a multi-inning pitcher. He is much better used int he setup role and will likely return there at some point. It’s not that lefties can’t close, I just think it’s better to have a right-handed closer cause most major league benches are full of right-handed batters.
Either way, the closer for now is Jonny Venters. Kimbrel will resume the setup role until he is ready to close again. Last night he pitched a scoreless inning, walking two.