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Braves release Venters 1 year after NL Comeback Player award

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Atlanta Braves pitcher Jonny Venters and catcher Brian McCann celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks in a baseball game, Saturday, May 11, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Atlanta Braves pitcher Jonny Venters and catcher Brian McCann celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks in a baseball game, Saturday, May 11, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

ATLANTA (AP) — Jonny Venters, the left-hander whose comeback from his third Tommy John surgery helped him win the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award last year, has been released by the Atlanta Braves.

The 34-year-old Venters had a 17.36 ERA after giving up nine earned runs in 4 2/3 innings covering nine appearances.

The release came Saturday, a day after Venters gave up four runs, none earned, on one hit and two walks while recording two outs in the Braves' 12-8 win over Milwaukee on Friday night. The bullpen gave up eight runs after the Braves led 12-0.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said the decision was especially tough because "everybody respects and admires everything he went through to get back to the major leagues."

The Braves recalled left-hander Jerry Blevins only four days after he was designated for assignment.

Venters was a combined 5-2 with three saves and a 3.67 ERA in 50 games last season for Tampa Bay and Atlanta. An All-Star with the Braves in 2011, he hadn't pitched in the majors since 2012 before returning with the Rays last year.

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