Jonny Venters is making his way back from undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in May of last year, but the Braves setup man had to shut his throwing program down last week due to soreness.
Venters went to see Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery, and Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that he received a platelet-rich plasma injection intended to aid the healing process.
That’s good news in that there’s no new structural damage, but Venters will be sidelined for at least a month before he can resume throwing again. Unfortunately he’s becoming an example of how not every pitcher who undergoes Tommy John surgery makes a smooth, 12 month-long recovery and it’s looking less and less likely that Venters will pitch for the Braves in 2014 after missing all of 2013.
Before going under the knife Venters posted a 2.23 ERA with 258 strikeouts in 230 innings setting up Craig Kimbrel in what was an incredible late-inning duo.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.