Braves' Venters may be facing Tommy John surgery for third time
Retirement or Tommy John surgery for a third time? That seems to the choice for Braves reliever Jonny Venters, who's once again been diagnosed with torn elbow ligaments.
#Braves Venters tore his elbow ligament again. Will have to decide whether to have a third Tommy John surgery if wants to pitch again.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) August 28, 2014
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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