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Braves' Venters may be facing Tommy John surgery for third time

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Will Jonny Venters ever  make it back to a big-league mound? (USATSI)
Will Jonny Venters ever make it back to a big-league mound? (USATSI)

Braves reliever Jonny Venters hasn't pitched since late 2012, and now comes this bit of unfortunate news:

Indeed, Venters first underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2005, and then he underwent it again in May of last year, hence his absence in 2014. Now, his UCL is structurally compromised once again, and it looks like another TJ or hang 'em up. Tough break indeed for the 29-year-old lefty.

Venters has been oustanding over his brief big-league career: 2.33 ERA, 175 ERA+, just nine home runs allowed in 229 2/3 innings spread across three seasons. He's limited opposing hitters to a line of .212/.317/.270. Venters is owed the balance of a $1.63-million contract for 2014.

Needless to say, rare is the pitcher who's able to pitch at the highest level after a third Tommy John surgery (Jason Isringhausen is one of the vanishingly rare exceptions). So Venters has the odds stacked against him moving forward.

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