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Jonny Venters suffers setback in throwing session

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Venters suffered another setback Thursday.
Jonny Venters suffered another setback Thursday. (USATSI)

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Braves relief pitcher Jonny Venters threw off the mound for the first time in over a month Thursday, and the result was not good. He was only scheduled to throw 15-20 pitches and only made it "halfway though" before stopping due to soreness, the Braves have told reporters (including David O'Brien).

Venters has been shut down since late March with soreness in his pitching (left) elbow. Early in April -- after a visit to esteemed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews -- Venters had a platelet-rich plasma injection in the elbow. It was then determined he'd avoid throwing for a month before going on the comeback trail.

Dr. Andrews performed Tommy John surgery on Venters in 2006, so there's obviously some concern here with the soreness he felt Thursday.

When healthy, Venters is one of baseball's best left-handed relievers. In 2010-11, he had a 1.89 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 189 strikeouts in 171 innings pitched. He struggled early in 2012, but after returning from an elbow injury July 22, he had a 1.71 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings the rest of the way.

Without Venters, the Braves have still gotten some good work in front of closer Craig Kimbrel, as Eric O'Flaherty, Cory Gearrin and Anthony Varvaro have thrown well.

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