Washington – The Braves had hoped to hear word on reliever Jonny Venters’ appeal on Wednesday but the afternoon came and went without any word from Major League Baseball.
John McHale, Executive VP for MLB, heard Venters’ appeal Tuesday afternoon at Nationals Park and was expected to take 1-2 days to return his decision.
Venters was suspended four games for hitting the Brewers Prince Fielder on July 17. Venters is eligible to pitch until the ruling is made.
When and if he has to serve his suspension, the Braves will be short their primary two left-handers in the bullpen, behind closer Billy Wagner.
Eric O’Flaherty has been cleared to begin playing catch, Braves manager Bobby Cox said Wednesday, but he’s still just beginning to regain his strength two weeks after coming down with a viral infection. He was eligible to come off the disabled list prior to the Nationals series but he did not make the trip with the Braves.
“The doctors are going to let him play some soft toss and see how he fatigues,” Cox said. “He’s just getting his strength back now. But he’s improving.”