Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters were rode hard and put away wet last year. So this year, they’re taking it a bit easier heading into spring training. From the AJC:
It’s easy to suggest their first-half workload is what caused Kimbrel and Venters to struggle down the stretch, when they appeared to be operating on fumes some nights … But it’s also clear that Venters and Kimbrel are learning something about pace and preparation. They realize there is a purpose to spring training, and that is solely to prepare for the season … This year Venters and Kimbrel won’t enter spring training in midseason form, by design. Both spent the offseason doing more strength and conditioning, and less throwing.
That should help. As should Fredi Gonzalez taking it a bit easier on them. One thing not mentioned in the article but which also needs to happen: the Braves have to freakin’ hit a little bit so they’re not constantly finding themselves in tie and one-run games like they did so often last season.
If Kimbrel and Venters are fresh all year, it means that the Braves will be in good shape. If run ragged again, forget it.