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Three Tommy John Surgeries Later, Venters Returns to Majors

Jonny Venters has not had it easy.

Venters quickly became of the best relievers in the sport after making his debut for the Atlanta Braves in 2010. He received votes for the National League Rookie of the Year award and even made the All Star team the following season.

However, his promising start came to a halt after the 2012 season, when he underwent Tommy John Surgery for the second time in his career; the first being five years prior when he was pitching in Single-A. He returned in 2014, but realized in a bullpen session that his fastball couldn't top 70 mph. It wouldn't be long before he opted for his third Tommy John Surgery. He hoped that would be enough.

It wasn't.

The Rays gave Venters a minor league contract leading up to the 2016 season in hopes that he can regain his form. That July, he discovered that he had a partially torn UCL in the same surgically repaired elbow. Rather than choosing to have a fourth Tommy John Surgery performed, Venters chose a smaller operation in hopes that his career was not yet over.

Venters pitched through 2017 in good health, and yesterday he was called up to the Rays to pitch in the big leagues for the first time since 2012. He got the only batter he faced; Orioles slugger Chris Davis, to ground out.

"Oh man, it was an amazing experience, just to get out there on a big league mound in a big league game," Venters told the Associated Press. "To be able to get an out and help this team win, it was a special thing that I'll never forget the rest of my life."


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