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Jonny Venters Injury: Braves Place Struggling Reliever On Disabled List

The Atlanta Braves have placed struggling relief pitcher Jonny Venters on the disabled list with an elbow injury, as the team tries to figure out why the once dominant reliever has struggled so much in 2012.

The move may have been prompted by Venters' disastrous outing in Atlanta's 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, where Venters allowed a run on a wild pitch and gave up a home run in two consecutive pitches.

On the season, Venters is 3-3 with 4.45 ERA in 32 innings, a far cry from the pitcher who dominated the NL in his first two seasons in MLB. In 2010 and 2011, the 6'3 lefthander had a 1.89 ERA in 164 appearances.

Many speculated that the relief patterns of Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez contributed to Venters struggles at the end of last season, which have been repeated in 2012. However, pitching injuries are still an inexact science, and there's no way to exactly pinpoint why a pitcher heads to the disabled list.

To replace Venters on the roster Atlanta has called up left handed reliever Luis Avilan who spent one day at Triple-A Gwinnett after being promoted from Mississippi.

Read more on the Braves at Talking Chop and head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue for the Cubs fans' perspective. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.