This past Thursday, the Braves made their first trade of the season, acquiring LHP Jonny Venters from the Tampa Bay Rays for international pool money. This isn’t just big to help the struggling Braves bullpen, but it is big when you hear the story of Jonny Venters.
Jonny Venters was drafted out of high school in the 30th round in the 2003 MLB draft, and he didn’t make his MLB debut until 2010. Jonny played until 2012, which included one all-star game in 2011. He then was having problems with his left elbow, and had to receive tommy john surgery which left him out for the entire 2013 season.
At the beginning of the 2014 season, he received the news that he, once again, tore his ulnar collateral ligament. He then had to receive his third tommy john surgery. The two surgeries forced him to miss the 2013-2015 seasons with his elbow problems.
Most people didn’t believe he would have a career after this.However, he was assigned to rehab by the Braves, but was released 2 days later.
In 2015, the Tampa Bay Rays signed Venters 2 a 2-year minor league contract. It took until 2018 when he got to hit the MLB mound again. As he made his first appearance after surgery on April 25th, 2018. He made 22 appearances while compiling a 3.86 ERA before he got the news he was being traded to the Atlanta Braves.
He was happy to receive this news. His family, kids, and everyone he loved lived in Atlanta, so he would be able to see them more often and hang out with them more.
“To be able to come back to where it all started for me and be in this thick of a playoff race,” Venters said. “It feels like I never left.”
So far, Venters has pitched well in 2 appearances for the braves, but we will see what he can do to help this struggling bullpen