The Atlanta Braves were hoping relief pitcher Jonny Venters would be able to make his 2013 Major League Baseball debut at the end of the month. Unfortunately, it looks like the Braves will have to wait until at least next year to see Venters pitch again.
Venters tossed a 15-pitch bullpen session on May 10 in which it looked like he had great command of the baseball. Even though the three-year player thought the bullpen session went great, he did admit that there was still consistent soreness in his elbow. This led to a visit with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the first Tommy John Surgery on Venters in 2005.
Venters was forced to undergo surgery Thursday afternoon in an attempt to repair the torn ligament in his elbow.
“We thought this was a possibility, but we hoped it wouldn’t be the case,” Braves general manager Frank Wren told Braves.com. “When they went in for the surgery this morning, they were not sure what they were going to find. When they got in there and found the ligament was torn, they had to redo the surgery.”
Obviously, this is a big blow for the Braves as the left-handed reliever has been a huge part of the team’s bullpen over the past three seasons. Venters has posted a 15-10 record with a 2.23 earned run average, a whopping 258 strikeouts, 79 holds and six saves in 230 career appearances.
Considering Atlanta has the best bullpen ERA (2.77) in the big leagues, adding Venters in the next few weeks would have made them that much better. However, at this point the 28-year-old is just hoping he has what it takes to come back after a second Tommy John Surgery.
A majority of pitchers never come back from two surgeries, with only 10-25 percent of them ever returning to their previous form. It is certainly a shame considering how talented Venters truly is.