The Atlanta Braves enjoyed a significant advantage in recent seasons, deploying not one but two premier left-handed relievers. Now Jonny Venters has undergone Tommy John surgery and Eric OFlaherty is likely to follow.
Huge blows, for sure. But not necessarily crushing.
General manager Frank Wren said Saturday that the trade market has yet to develop, but rest assured, the Braves will actively search for another left-handed specialist. Mike Dunn, whom the Braves sent to Miami in the Dan Uggla trade in November 2010, would be ideal.
For now, the Braves still have one quality lefty, Luis Avilan, who has pitched 6 23 consecutive scoreless innings. Right-hander Jordan Walden, currently out with right shoulder inflammation, throws a split change that neutralizes left-handed hitters. Righty Cory Rasmus, the younger brother of Colby, also has a good changeup and had terrific numbers at Triple-A.
Frankly, the Braves could be in worse shape. The Washington Nationals are only two games ove...