Bill Shanks talks about the B.J. Upton situation for the Braves.
Braves shut Venters down with more issues
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.
AtlantaDugout.com Recommended Stories
Week 8: Fantasy Football Player Upgrades
Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Mark Morales-Smith provides the best Fantasy options to target because they are on the rise in the short or long term. Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (pictured above)…Read More
Who's Hot? Week 8: Trevone, Pitt D, Kirby
The stud teams, players, coaches and trends from Week 8Read More
5 Ways to a Healthier Tailgate
Tailgating is one of America’s favorite pastimes, but can you truly have a memorable experience at a tailgating event without stuffing your face? Believe it or not, the answer is yes! You don’t have…Read More
Seeing the Light: A Matter of Life or Death.
Gary Howard died in the early morning darkness while walking to set up his portable treestand. It was late October,a full hour before sunrise. Dressed in camo, carrying his bow with the stand strapped…Read More
Deer Attacks Man!
Man attempts to rope deer and immediately regrets it.Read More