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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Braves Injury Update: Jonny Venters has a torn UCL


By on 8/28/2014 08:00:00 PM

Atlanta Braves left handed pitcher Jonny Venters is 29 years old and has three major-league seasons under his belt with a 2.23 ERA and an All-Star appearance. But he hasn't pitched in the majors since the end of the 2012 season and if he wants to pitch again he'll need a third Tommy John surgery, according to David O'Brien of AJC.com.

Jonny Venters

Venters was part of a bullpen including closer Craig Kimbrel and LHP Eric O'Flaherty that routinely shortened games to six innings for Braves' starters in 2010-2012.  He was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball with a 94-95 mph sinkers and sliders that "made him devastatingly effective against right-handed hitters and all but unhittable against lefties."

He had his first TJ surgery as a minor-leaguer after the 2005 season, and missed the entirety of the 2006 season and parts of 2007 as he recovered. He reached the majors in 2010, making 79 appearances and in 2011 (his All-Star season) he made a league-leading 85 appearances (88 innings). In 2012 he was again heavily worked, making 66 appearances, despite an DL stint in July that cost him about three weeks, and his performance began to slip.  He had his second TJ in May of 2013 and was beginning a throwing program when he was shut down with elbow discomfort this week. As O'Brien reports,
As recently as three weeks ago, Venters told reporters he wasn’t having any problems in his initial sessions throwing off the mound. But the amiable left-hander is known to have a high pain tolerance and a willingness to pitch through discomfort, as he did at times during the 2012 season.2014.
O'Brien points out that only two pitchers, Jose Rijo and Jason Isringhausen, have come back to pitch at a high level after having a third Tommy John surgery.

Venters was drafted in 2003 (30th round) and made his debut April 17, 2010. Despite uncertainty about his return, the Braves re-signed him to a one-year, $1.625 million contract for 2014, the same salary he made in 2013. If Atlanta does not offer him a contract for 2015 he would become a free agent.

@NatsLady  (Rose Ingberman) and read her blog Lady and the Nats
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