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.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.