The Atlanta Braves are holding their breath after Jonny Venters was removed from Tuesday's game with the Detroit Tigers with a sprained elbow, ajc.com reports. He is likely to start the season on the disabled list.
Venters faced five batters in the sixth inning while in his first Major League appearance in nearly two weeks. He gave up a lead-off homer, walk, triple and uncorked a wild pitch to allow a third run before being pulled while looking at his elbow.
Fredi Gonzalez had decided to "back off" on using Venters a bit after he walked four in an outing on March 13. He then threw in a minor league game over the weekend with no problems. He has given up 13 hits and six earned runs in 6 2/3 Grapefruit League innings this year.
Venters went on the disabled list for an inflamed elbow last July after putting up a 4.45 ERA before the All-Star break. After his DL stint, he compiled a 1.71 ERA the rest of the season.
Venters has 230 appearances in three seasons, including a big leagues high 83 in 2011. That much work coupled with persistent elbow problems doesn't sound like a great combination.
Nothing has been said about it, but it sounds like Venters may soon be a Tommy John candidate.
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