The Braves have shut down reliever Jonny Venters after he experienced a setback from his return from Tommy John surgery.
Venters will now visit Dr. James Andrews, the noted elbow surgeon. Venters has had TJ surgery twice – once in 2006 and then again last year.
The number of pitchers who come back from a second Tommy John procedure is low. This news will not sit well with both Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, who had their second elbow surgeries in the spring and hope to return next season.
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez should be blamed for Venters’ injury issues. In his first season as the Braves’ manager, Gonzalez overused Venters and fellow relievers Craig Kimbrel and Eric O’Flaherty. Venters pitched in a NL-leading 85 games, while Kimbrel was next with 79 games pitched and then O’Flaherty at 78 games.
That meant the Braves’ top three relievers in 2011 averaged 80.6 games per season. The three were in the top five in the NL in games pitched for the season.
O’Flaherty had Tommy John surgery last season. The Braves failed to re-sign the free agent last winter and he signed with the Oakland A’s. O’Flaherty rejoined the A’s in July and has pitched in 15 games. He has an ERA of 1.26 with 12 strikeouts in 14.1 innings.
The Braves have to hope Kimbrel can stay healthy. They have been smarter in the past few years about his workload, but he is a pitcher that throws hard and was overused in his first full big league season of 2011.
Venters is making $1.625 million this season, the second straight year he has made that amount. The Braves will undoubtedly non-tender Venters this winter. Perhaps they’ll bring him back on a minor league deal to see if he can recover, but this setback is a bad sign and perhaps puts Venters’ career in jeopardy.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Braves shut Venters down with more issues
Atlanta Dugout Top Stories
Braves ‘Very Open’ to Moving TeheranRival executives are closely monitoring the activity of the Atlanta Braves, particularly pitcher Julio Tehrean, who many believe may be available at the deadline for the right…
Atlanta Braves Select Kyle WrightVanderbilt starting pitcher Kyle Wright was wildly considered a high draft pick headed into the 2017 MLB Draft and that was exactly the case as the 1st team All-SEC selection went…
Garcia Starting for Braves TonightFor now, Jaime Garcia is starting tonight against the Dodgers... as a member of the Braves.
Hardball ScoopFriday at 12:30 PM
Source: Dodgers Asking on RHP, Bullpen ArmsThe Los Angeles Dodgers have reached out to teams about right-handed starting pitchers, in addition to late-inning bullpen arms.
Hardball ScoopThursday at 2:35 PM
Braves Likely to Keep Matt AdamsSince acquiring Matt Adams from St. Louis, the Atlanta offense has produced and Adams has been a large success. With the trade market not panning out as the front office once hoped…
Hardball ScoopThursday at 11:39 AM