Like Brandon Beachy, O'Flaherty experienced some elbow soreness after a recent outing and the Braves shut him down for pretty much all of last week. He was originally scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday but was still experiencing soreness during the off day on Thursday. The team elected to move the bullpen session to Saturday to give him one more full day of rest.
O'Flaherty threw about 25 pitches in the session and reported no problems and could be available if needed on Sunday.
The Braves are hopeful that the bullpen session will come off without a hitch which would make O'Flaherty available on either Sunday or Monday. O'Flaherty told reporters on Friday that the elbow felt much better and is anxious to get back on the mound
"As a player you can't wait to get back out there," O'Flaherty said. "Every bit of you wants to just push it and sometimes it's not the best idea. The guys in the training room they've seen it happen quite a few times, so they know what's best for you even if you don't."
Atlanta recalled Kris Medlen and designated Livan Hernandez for assignment on Friday as they continue to look for answers to the team's bullpen struggles of late.
"We feel if we can get [O'Flaherty] through these next couple games, he'll be fine," Gonzalez said. "Our training staff is telling us if we can get him through these next couple days, he'll be fine. You hate to DL him and then we go to New York, with all those left-handers and all those switch-hitters you want to hit right-handed, with one lefty. We'll bring in a fresh arm with a day off [Thursday] and alleviate the pressure on [O'Flaherty] and on us to DL him."
O'Flaherty said that the injury wasn't serious and the rest was precautionary but admitted that the elbow was stiff. Atlanta missed him on Tuesday as Jonny Venters allowed a game-tying grand slam to Alex Rodriguez in the eighth inning. Cory Gearrin relieved Venters and served up a two-run homer to Nick Swisher.
The Braves sent Gearrin down on Wednesday and called up Anthony Varvaro to add a fresh arm to the pen. O'Flaherty is expected to throw a bullpen session on Friday and reassess the situation.