July 27, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jonny Venters (39) pitches in the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 3/18

MLB Rumors

Atlanta Braves Rumors

Medlen will undergo the second Tommy John surgery of his career tomorrow,tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Meanwhile, Beachy is headed to Los Angeles for further evaluation after also being seen today by Dr. James Andrews.

June 3, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen (54) pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Comments from GM Frank Wren certainly made it sound as if Beachy could be headed in the same direction, even if he is holding out hope, as Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports“I think it’s natural for guys to want to exhaust every possibility before they ultimately make that decision that I’m going to have surgery,” Wren said. “Sometimes these decisions aren’t black and white. There’s enough gray that they want just another set of eyes and another impression on what’s being seen.” The possibility of a second Tommy John procedure for Beachy was reported several days ago.

Looking ahead, the Braves could be in a tough spot next fall, when Medlen will qualify for his final trip through arbitration. He avoided arbitration this year by agreeing to a $5.8MM salary, and the resulting high salary floor could make it tough for Atlanta to tender him a contract for 2015. Medlen will not even be nine months into the recovery process at the point at which tender decisions are due. Teams have guaranteed money under similar circumstances — indeed, the Braves promised Gavin Floyd $4MM to join the club for 2014 — but the fact that this is Medlen’s second UCL replacement certainly increases the risk.


NBC Sports

Evan Gattis reveals that he had off-season knee surgery

Braves catcher Evan Gattis had off-season knee surgery. In October, Gattis had a “dime-sized” bone chip removed from his right knee, which had been bothering him since 2006. As a result, the Braves hadn’t been using him in spring training at the same pace most teams use their starting catchers.

Knee problem and all, Gattis was able to slug 21 home runs and post a .771 OPS in his rookie season. Now with Brian McCann out of the picture, Gattis will get the lion’s share of playing time behind the dish for the Braves. When he isn’t behind the plate, the Braves plan to give him intermittent playing time at first base and in the outfield.


Orlando Sentinel

Lake Brantley graduate itches to return to Braves after 2nd elbow surgery

Spring training is a time for renewed beginnings, preparing for a season of endless possibilities, all in a relaxed atmosphere.

When Jonny Venters took the mound for a game last spring against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, a week before opening day, he was the other baseball players in camp.

Looking forward to the season.

Then the Atlanta Braves reliever’s season was over.

“My arm had been a little sore all spring, and I threw a couple of pitches and it hurt pretty bad,” Venters recalled. “I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Venters, a Lake Brantley graduate, had torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow for the second time. He underwent Tommy John surgery last May 16 and has been rehabilitating since then.

He is not expected to pitch again for the Braves for 2-3 months.

“You think you go through all of that the first time, and you think you should be OK,” said Venters, who had elbow surgery in 2005 while in the minors. “Definitely one of the key parts is getting over the fact that you had surgery and to get back to throwing normally.”


Hometown Headlines

Rome Braves add ‘VIP On-field Experience’ for Atlanta game, regular season

The Rome Braves have announced something new for fans in 2014. The VIP On-Field Experience will begin with the Atlanta Braves exhibition game on March 29,  giving fans the opportunity to go on the field prior to the game to watch batting practice.

“We’re excited to give fans an opportunity to see batting practice up close and personal,” says Rome General Manager Michael Dunn.  “Being on the field will give fans a whole new perspective.”

The Rome Braves VIP On-Field Experience is not only a great opportunity for fans but also a unique way of entertaining clients or rewarding employees.  Pricing for the Atlanta Braves exhibition game is $75.  Rome Braves pricing is for Friday and Saturday games only and is $25.  Fans must have a game ticket to participate.



Still amazed, Glavine tours baseball Hall of Fame

Tom Glavine got an up-close look at the Hall of Fame on Monday during a tour ahead of his induction this summer.

The retired left-hander first visited the Hall last summer, when son Mason was playing in an area baseball tournament.

“When I came here last year, obviously, it was more to see the museum, so to speak, and kind of hoping I would be here some day,” Glavine said as he stood in the plaque gallery, only feet from where his bronze plaque will be placed on a wall in four months. “Now, I’m here with the objective of becoming more familiar with this place, and where my place will be in terms of my plaque, so it’s a little bit different in that regard.”

Glavine will be inducted July 27, along with former Atlanta teammate Greg Maddux and manager Bobby CoxFrank Thomas and former managers Tony La Russa and Joe Torre.

“Had I not gotten in, I know the biggest disappointment for me would have been missing out on that opportunity to go in with Bobby and Greg,” Glavine said. “Those two guys I spent a lot of my career with and were very influential on me as a baseball player. And to have the opportunity to go in with two guys that were a teammate and a manager for a long time, guys that were such a big part of my career, but also helped make me a better player, that’s a great opportunity.”

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