By: Ryan Korp
Eric O’Flaherty becomes the latest Atlanta Braves pitcher to suffer “elbow tightness”, the dreaded words that every pitcher fears and ultimately leads to one thing – Tommy John.
Braves reliever Johnny Venters already underwent his second career Tommy John surgery this season, sidelining him for the remainder of the year and most of next year.
Venters and O’Flaherty were part of the dominant Braves bullpen the last few seasons, forming an almost unhittable bridge from the starters to lights-out closer Craig Kimbrel. Last year the two appeared in 66 and 64 games out of the pen.
There was concern going into last season after the bullpen was overworked in the 2011 season and started to tire out in September. 2011 saw O’Flaherty post a ERA under one in 78 games out of the pen and Venters appeared in 85 games, posting a 1.84 ERA and 96 strikeouts.