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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jonny Venters Tears UCL, Facing Third Tommy John Surgery

NEW YORK—After spending the past few months battling the frustration that came courtesy of his attempt to return from a second Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, Jonny Venters received some jarring news on Thursday, when Dr. James Andrews informed him that he had torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow for a third time.

If Venters decides he wants to attempt to pitch again, he would need to undergo Tommy John surgery for a third time.

171 innings over his first two years with a 200ish ERA+ and 10 Ks/9.

CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 28, 2014 at 09:49 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, tommy john surgery

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   1. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:15 AM (#4781340)
That. Just. Sucks.

Sorry for him.
   2. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 29, 2014 at 12:52 AM (#4781354)
We'll always have O'Ventibrel, Jonny.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4781636)
Man, that's terrible. I think I'd consider learning to pitch righthanded - might be easier than another rehab, and more durable, the way things have gone with his left arm.
   4. SG Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4781642)
Would Venters be the first pitcher to have TJS three times?
   5. Ron J2 Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4781645)
Facing Third Tommy John Surgery


I wonder what the best record by a pitcher after a second TJ surgery. After a third. Etc.

Come to that, has any pitcher had a significant period of reasonable value after a 3rd TJ surgery. I can't think of any off the top of my head.
   6. flournoy Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4781657)
Jose Rijo had five Tommy John Surgeries.

Venters is likely done, though.
   7. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4781660)
Oh yeah, Jonny Venters. I remember him.

It seems to me--remembering as we always must that I'm not a professional athlete and don't think like one--that by the third Tommy John surgery, you'd probably have to accept that if you keep trying to pitch you're going to keep tearing your UCL and there's nothing for it.
   8. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4781663)
Come to that, has any pitcher had a significant period of reasonable value after a 3rd TJ surgery. I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Isringhausen came back for a couple of seasons after his third TJ. He wasn't great but was above replacement level (0.1 WAR each year). Since he was his late 30s by this time it is conceivable that a younger pitcher could come back and pitch better or at least longer. But the odds seem overwhelmingly stacked against this.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4781671)
Are people still blaming Fredi Gonzalez for ruining the careers of Venters and some other guy through making them throw an unconscionable 80 innings a season?
   10. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: August 29, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4781682)
Fredi worked Venters, O'Flaherty and Kimbrel very hard in 2011, and Venters and Kimbrel both struggled in the Braves' September collapse that year (O'Flaherty, to his eternal credit, pitched like gangbusters the entire season). Kimbrel obviously has been just fine ever since. Venters fell off and got hurt the very next year before embarking on his current Tommy John odyssey. O'Flaherty was lights out in 2012 before needing his own Tommy John surgery in 2013, though he seems to be recovering quite nicely for Oakland.

It's obviously impossible to draw any sort of direct causal link between that usage and those injuries. Venters already had one TJS under his belt before emerging as an ace set-up man in 2010, and relievers get hurt. It's what they do. But Fredi himself acknowledged that he worked them too hard, and he made a conscious effort in 2012 to protect those three and try to preserve more comfortable leads with lesser pitchers.
   11. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4781801)
At times you have to be careful and take a "walk, don't run" approach to these sorts of injuries.
   12. McCoy Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4781810)
Does he have any Tommy or John left?
   13. Ziggy Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4781862)
I'm not entirely sure what McCoy is asking, but if it's about remaining ligaments, I think they can also do these with ligaments from cadavers.

Somebody, in some long-lost thread, had a list a few months ago of people with multiple TJ surgeries. I don't remember much about it, but I do remember that it was very very ugly.
   14. bigglou115 Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4781883)
@11 Voros, I think Venters waited like 16 months before any rehab, and I think his longest session has been 25 pitches or so at 60%. Truth is Venters was done after the second injury. This one just ends it.
   15. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: August 29, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4781901)
#14,

:) Sorry it was a bad joke/pun. Such a great song too.
   16. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: August 29, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4782045)
:) Sorry it was a bad joke/pun. Such a great song too.

I thought it deserved a Primey, if we can still hand those out. Well played.

I might also point out that Venter's latest setback has "wiped out" all the hard work he put into his rehab.
   17. McCoy Posted: August 29, 2014 at 07:30 PM (#4782057)
McCoy was joking about it being his third surgery.
   18. BDC Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4782156)
Cadaver, huh? Can they exhume Lefty Grove for this purpose?

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