BAL@ATL: Beachy leaves game with elbow soreness

ATLANTA -- Brandon Beachy will move closer to a return to Atlanta's rotation Sunday, when he is scheduled to start for Triple-A Gwinnett. It will be the first official Minor League rehab start for the right-hander, who underwent Tommy John surgery last June.

Beachy was pleased with the way he felt during a two pain-free innings of an extended spring training game Tuesday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He is scheduled to throw three innings in Sunday's game with Gwinnett.

"[Tuesday's] first inning, it just felt kind of foreign to me, but I settled in, and it felt good," Beachy said. "It felt pretty normal."

Beachy led the Majors with a 2.00 ERA before he was placed on the disabled list last year. His recovery has proceeded on schedule, and he will make at least five more rehab starts before potentially rejoining Atlanta's rotation in the middle of June.

"I'm going to go out there trying to work on pitches," Beachy said. "A quality pitch down in Orlando against extended spring guys is going to be a quality pitch in Gwinnett or Atlanta, so I'm just working on that."

Beachy was not concerned with his velocity ahead of his first appearance in the Minors as much as command of his entire arsenal within the context of live at-bats.

"I've been throwing all my pitches, now it's: Can I throw them for strikes? Can I throw them for quality in a game situation?" Beachy said. "It's different when you're throwing it in the bullpen and when you're throwing it in a game with a hitter in there. It's just progressing to the point where I can make pitches to get guys out. There's a purpose behind the pitch now."

Venters remains without regret after second surgery

ATLANTA -- Jonny Venters understands that he endured a heavy workload during his first two seasons at the Major League level. But a day after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery in eight years, the Braves left-handed reliever expressed no regrets.

"I wouldn't change anything about those two years that I pitched," Venters said Friday afternoon at Turner Field. "I don't think it had anything to do with it. It's just one of those things -- part of the job, I guess."

Venters earned an All-Star selection and established himself as one of the game's best relievers as he compiled a 1.89 ERA in the 164 combined appearances he made in 2010 and '11. The workload started to take its toll, as he battled elbow discomfort and struggled through the first half of '12.

After undergoing his first Tommy John surgery in 2005, Venters encountered a number of setbacks over the next few seasons. He made a career-high 29 starts at the Minor League level in '09, then made 79 relief appearances for Atlanta the following year.

Venters said he planned to talk with Tim Hudson's close friend Jason Isringhausen, who continued to pitch in the Major Leagues after three Tommy John surgeries.

While Venters knows he will be sidelined until at least around this time next year, he said Dr. James Andrews provided some encouragement Thursday after performing the surgical procedure.

"He didn't give me any odds, just said that it should be fine," Venters said. "He felt pretty optimistic about it, so I just gotta work hard and do everything I can, and if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. I think I should be fine."