Rest works wonders on Venters' left elbow

Rest works wonders on Venters' left elbow

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When Jonny Venters' left elbow was a little sore after Sunday's appearance against the Orioles, the Braves opted not to pitch him in any of this week's games. The rest has already seemed beneficial for the Braves left-handed reliever, who was encouraged after completing a pain-free long-toss session on Friday.

"They just wanted to give me a couple of days to let it rest and get it feeling good again, so that I can go into the year feeling strong and good," Venters said. "It feels great now. I'm actually excited about it."

Venters believes he will be ready to pitch in an exhibition game again by Tuesday.

The Braves are certainly going to take precautions with Venters, who has combined to make a Major League-high 164 appearances in the past two years. The 26-year-old setup man battled elbow injuries throughout his Minor League career. But other than needing a few extra days of rest a couple times last year, he has not had any problems with his left elbow.

Venters, who has combined for a 1.89 ERA in his first two Major League seasons, has allowed at least one run in three of his five exhibition appearances this year. He explained the discomfort he felt during Sunday's appearance against the Orioles as "regular soreness."

"I think it was just a mix of throwing hard again and not being able to recover," Venters said. "I was just sore. Regular stuff that needed to be taken care of now, rather than at the beginning of the season."