This is just sad.
Braves left-hander Jonny Venters’ comeback from the second Tommy John elbow surgery of his career has been halted to due another torn ulnar collateral ligament. Which means the once-dominant setup man may be headed for a third Tommy John surgery.
Venters had a 2.22 ERA and 258 strikeouts in 230 innings for the Braves from 2010-2012 while averaging 94.5 miles per hour with his fastball, but hasn’t pitched since October 3, 2012 and is now looking at the possibility of a third consecutive lost season with his 30th birthday around the corner.
Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.
On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.
It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.
While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.