For the Braves, seeing reliever Jonny Venters staring at his sore left arm before being pulled from Tuesday’s game against Detroit put a damper on the last week of spring training. He was diagnosed with a sprained elbow and presumably will open the season on the 15-day disabled list. “We’ll re-evaluate tomorrow, see what happens,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who said he didn’t know anything more regarding the severity of the injury. Pitching in a major league game for the first time in 13 days, Venters faced five batters in the sixth inning and gave up a leadoff homer, a walk and a triple before throwing a wild pitch to the fifth batter, a ball that went to the backstop screen. One pitch later, he signaled to the dugout. Gonzalez and a trainer came out, and Venters soon headed to the clubhouse. When asked last week why Venters hadn’t pitched since a four-walk inning against St. Louis on March 13, both Venters and Gonzalez said there was nothing in particular wrong with him and he was just getting some rest. After Tuesday’s game, Gonzalez was asked again, this time specifically if the elbow had bothered Venters this spring. “Off and on,” he said. “From the other day, that minor league game, all indications were that he was good.” Venters pitched a perfect inning in a weekend minor league game. In six Grapefruit League games, he has pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed 13 hits (two homers), eight runs (six earned) and six walks with six strikeouts. He had a stint on the DL in July for an inflamed elbow. At that time he revealed the problem had flared a few times previously during the season. He also was rested nearly two weeks late in 2012 spring training for a sore shoulder. Venters has 230 relief appearances in three major league seasons, including a majors-leading 85 in 2011. As a minor leaguer seven years ago, he had ligament-transplant elbow surgery, aka “Tommy John” surgery. One of the majors’ top relievers in his first two seasons, he had a career-worst 3.22 ERA in 66 appearances last season, but pitched well after coming back from the DL, with a 1.71 ERA in his final 26 appearances.
Braves’ Venters injures elbow, could go on disabled list
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Mar 27