Jonny Venters shut down for four weeks with elbow injury

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The good news is that Jonny Venters’ trip to see Dr. James Andrews hasn’t resulted in elbow surgery.

The bad news is that Andrews injected Venters’ elbow with platelet-rich plasma and the Braves left-hander has been shut down for four weeks.

Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Venters would then begin a throwing program, which likely means he’s at least six weeks away from potentially getting back on a mound and seemingly rules him out for all of April and May.

Atlanta has the bullpen depth to handle Venters’ absence, but he’s definitely a huge loss after posting a 2.23 ERA and 258 strikeouts in 230 innings through his first three seasons. During that three-year span Venters made 230 appearances, which was the second-most in baseball.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.