Braves place struggling Jonny Venters on DL

<img alt= left-hander Jonny Venters has been placed on the disabled list with an elbow impingement, the team announced on Thursday.

Venters, 27, has struggled this season, allowing 16 earned runs in 32 1/3 innings for an ERA of 4.45. Last season he allowed just 18 total earned runs over a big-league best 85 games. According to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, neither the Braves nor Venters had said anything about an injury all season. In Wednesday's loss to the Cubs, Venters allowed a run to score on a wild pitch and gave up a home run to Jeff Baker.

Venters had a 1.59 ERA through the first month of the season, but then suffered his first blown save on May 11 in St. Louis. Starting with that game -- which featured a homer by Carlos Beltran off of Venters -- he had an ERA of 6.000 and batters were hitting .326/.437/.581 off of him.

So far this season, Venters has allowed six home runs, double the number he allowed in his first two seasons in a total of 171 innings.

Venters' slide actually began at the end of 2011, when he put up a 5.11 ERA in the final month of the season as the team collapsed, allowing the Cardinals to win the wild card. Much of the team's missed opportunity has been blamed on the overuse of Venters and closer Craig Kimbrel.

Atlanta called up left-hander Luis Avilan from Triple-A Gwinnett. He was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A on Tuesday. He never pitched for Gwinnett. Avilan had a 3.23 ERA in 16 games and 12 starts for Double-A Mississippi. Left-handed batters hit just .189 against him.

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