David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Braves reliever Jonny Venters suffered a minor setback during his first live bullpen session on Wednesday. The lefty felt soreness in his elbow due to the increased activity and the Braves cut the session short as a result.
Venters, 29, hasn’t pitched since the end of the 2012 season and underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow on May 16 last year. The Braves were hoping to get him back at some point in June. In three seasons with the Braves leading up to the injury, Venters posted a 2.23 ERA with a 258/110 K/BB ratio in 229 2/3 innings.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.