ATLANTA — On Tuesday, the Atlanta Braves announced relief pitcher Jonny Venters will be shut down for approximately four weeks, after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in his left elbow.
After that, Venters — who has been evaluated by noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews — will likely begin a throwing program.
In his first three major league seasons (2010-12), Venters compiled a 15-10 record with a 2.23 ERA, 1.24 walks plus hits per innings pitched, 258 strikeouts and 110 walks. And for 2010 and ’11, Venters was on the short list of MLB’s best setup relievers, posting consecutive years of a sub-2.00 ERA over 164 appearances and 171 total innings.
The loss of Venters, although significant to Atlanta’s pitching depth, could be absorbed by the addition of right-handed reliever Jordan Walden, whom the Braves acquired during an offseason trade involving Tommy Hanson.
With the Angels in 2011, Walden racked up 32 saves and 2.98 ERA.
Venters underwent Tommy John surgery in 2006 and almost quit baseball in ’08. He eventually regained his form and posted two seasons with at least 93 strikeouts.
Platelet-rich plasma is an emerging treatment that helps accelerate the healing of ligaments without surgery.
The procedure, which rose in popularity after Tiger Woods used it following knee surgery, has been used by a number of players of late, including Dodgers pitchers Chad Billingsley, Zack Greinke and Tigers catcher Alex Avila.