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Venters one of five pitchers promoted

Jonny Venters was just 4-7 and had a 5.62 ERA after being promoted to Gwinnett, but that didn't diminish his standing as a prospect as far as Atlanta was concerned.

Venters was one of the five pitchers the Braves promoted to the 40-man major league roster on Friday to protect them from the upcoming Rule 5 minor league draft. Also added were fellow lefties Jose Ortegano and Lee Hyde, and right-handers Jeff Lyman and Kyle Cofield.

The five will take part in major league spring training with the Braves, but are expected to end up in Class AAA at Gwinnett next year.

Venters, 24, was 4-4 with a 2.76 ERA in 12 starts for Class AA Mississippi before being promoted to Gwinnett and made 17 starts for the G-Braves. His career has been hampered by injuries, with reconstructive elbow surgery costing him the entire 2006 season.

Lyman, 22, was with the G-Braves briefly, making two starts in his five appearances. He was mainly a reliever for Mississippi, going 5-7 with a 3.12 ERA and two saves.

Cofield, 22, led the Southern League in walks, but was 10-5 with a 3.90 ERA for Mississippi and was seleced for the all-star game.

Hyde, 24, had a bounce-back season after being plagued by injuries since being drafted out of Georgia Tech and also pitched well in the Arizona Fall League. He was 3-1 with 1.21 ERA in 17 relief appearances for Class A Myrtle Beach before being promoted to Mississippi.

Ortegano, 22, also moved up to Class AA from Myrtle Beach and was 5-2 with a 2.83 ERA with Mississippi.