The left elbow of relief pitcher Johnny Venters forced him out of a spring training game on Tuesday. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution the 28-year-old will visit Dr. James Andrews early next week.
Venters has been one of the most reliable relief pitchers in baseball over the last three seasons. He also has made more appearances out of the bullpen then anyone else.
While visiting Andrews does not mean surgery is necessary it is never a good sign. He spent two weeks on the disabled list last year with what was termed a left elbow impingement.
The Braves are expected to compete for the NL East title after making the playoffs as a Wild Card team last year. A bullpen of Venters, Eric O’Flaherty and closer Craig Kimbrel is expected to be one of the strengths of the team.