June 13, 2012 at 9:13 am by Ben Duronio under Atlanta Braves
3.04, 2.88, 3.19.
Those are Jonny Venters’ xFIPs over the past three seasons. He has not changed much at all as a pitcher, but this year he is just receiving all of the poor luck that he didn’t receive in the two season’s previous.
His velocity is slightly down, a mile per hour on average for both of his pitches, which is likely the reason for Venters becoming as hittable as he has been. Even so, his 93-94 mile per hour power sinker is a difficult pitch to hit for any major leaguer, and the rate at which he has given up hits and allowed home runs is far out the ordinary.
Venters currently has a BABIP of .439 compared to a .288 career average, with a HR/FB rate of 33.3% compared to a career rate of 9.5%. If you think those rates will continue, I do not know what to tell you.
Here are the strikeout and walk rates of Venters over the past three seasons
K% – 26.6, 26.9, 26.5
BB%- 11.1, 12.0, 10.3
Along with almost identical strikeout-to-walk rates, Venters has a SIERA of 2.70 compared to a career SIERA of 2.71. The difference between him now and him over the past two years is not nearly as vast as his ERA and FIP suggest. The homers will come down as will the hits allowed. Maybe he won’t be quite as dominant as he has been over the past two years, but he should still be one of the better relievers in the game going forward unless they begin to attack hitters differently or try to fix something that really is not broken.