ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves placed struggling reliever Jonny Venters on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because a sore left elbow.
Venters said no MRI is planned. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he believes Venters just needs to rest and also can benefit from the mental break.
"I feel really good when the 15 days are up we'll have him back," Gonzalez said.
Venters gave up his sixth homer of the season to Jeff Baker in Wednesday night's 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The left-hander allowed only three homers in 2010 and 2011 combined.
A heavy workload could be taking a toll on Venters. He led the major leagues with 85 appearances in 2011. Since the start of 2010, he leads the majors with 204 appearances, according to STATS LLC. Sean Marshall is second with 193.
Venters had six wins, nine saves and a 1.84 ERA in 2011 as a top setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel. He is 3-3 with a 4.45 ERA and no saves this season.
He said he has inflammation and soreness at the back of his elbow. The team announced he had an "impingement" in the joint.
Venters had shoulder soreness in spring training. He said Braves orthopedist Dr. Xavier Duralde believes he put stress on his elbow by making adjustments to his delivery to protect the shoulder.
"I just think I tried so many adjustments it made my arm sore," Venters said. "It kind of escalated over time to the point I was on the mound worrying about things I shouldn't be worrying about."
Venters said Duralde determined the elbow was structurally sound. Venters said his shoulder "feels fine now."
Venters said he "would go through phases" where his arm felt fine this season.
"It's one of those things this year I've tried to manage," he said. "Just the last few days it's gotten tough."
He said he wasn't blaming his results on the problem with his elbow.
"My struggles have been attributed to me not making my pitches," he said.
Left-hander Luis Avilan was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill Venters' roster spot. Avilan was 3-6 with a 3.23 ERA in 16 games, including 12 starts, at Double-A Mississippi. Avilan was assigned to the Gwinnett roster on Wednesday.