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.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.