7/26/2014 6:52 P.M. ET
Long-idled Venters eyeing bullpen session next week
By Joe Morgan / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Jonny Venters remains on track to throw a bullpen session next week after throwing from 120 feet on Saturday. The Braves left-hander threw from 100 feet on Friday and continues to respond well to the platelet-rich plasma injection he received in early June.
There remains no timetable for Venters to return.
"Hopefully, I'll get on the mound next week," said Venters, who has not pitched for the Braves since 2012 and underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in May 2013. "I'm getting to travel with the team, so I'm excited about that. I'm excited to get on the mound. It's been a long time off, but everything feels good and I'm excited to get it going."
There is not yet a targeted date for Venters to throw his first bullpen session, but Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Friday that the southpaw would be likely limited to 10-20 pitches in his first time throwing off the mound.
Venters, who resumed throwing on July 18, has experienced soreness and inflammation in his previous attempts to ramp up the intensity in his throwing.
"It gets frustrating," Venters said. "You go into it thinking you'll be back at a certain point and you kind of prepare yourself for that, and it doesn't happen. It's just tough. You don't know what setbacks could occur, if any, and when they do, it's kind of a bummer, but it's part of the deal. You've just got to grind through it."
Although a return date in uncertain, Venters is encouraged by his results since the PRP injection.
"I feel a lot better than I did before," said Venters, who went more than five weeks without throwing following his PRP injection. "I think it's a combination of the injection and the time off. It gives time for everything to calm down in there and get back to feeling normal. It feels really good."
Pastornicky optioned, Gosselin returns to aid bench
ATLANTA -- The Braves optioned utility infielder Tyler Pastornicky to Triple-A Gwinnett and recalled Phil Gosselin on Saturday afternoon.
MLB.com reported Pastornicky would be sent down after he was seen packing possessions from his locker following Friday's game. He served as a pinch-hitter during his week in Atlanta, going 1-for-5 with a walk, a run scored and two strikeouts.
Gosselin, who played a game in Syracuse, N.Y., on Friday night, flew back to Atlanta late at night after receiving a call from Gwinnett manager Brian Snitker at his hotel.
"I was pretty excited," Gosselin said. "I got to call my family and everything. That call never gets old."
Gosselin first joined Atlanta when his contract was purchased from Gwinnett as a result of Dan Uggla's suspension from the Braves' final game before the All-Star break on July 13. He was optioned back to Gwinnett following the contest.
In order to bring Gosselin back in a non-injury roster move, there is a waiting period of 10 days. Gosselin became eligible to return to the Major League roster after July 23.
"They told me to go down there and keep playing hard and keep working at my game, but they didn't really say anything about coming back up," Gosselin said.
Atlanta hopes Gosselin can give the bench a boost. Braves substitutions are batting .185 (29-for-157) with nine extra-base hits, 10 walks and 48 strikeouts in 2014. Gosselin has hit .344 (130-for-378) with 29 doubles, five triples, five homers and a .379 on-base percentage in 407 plate appearances with Gwinnett.
"He's had a terrific, terrific year, and why not reward a guy that is doing a great job?" Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Well, first of all, why not get a guy who can help you win a Major League game?"
Gosselin's offensive numbers earned him a spot in this year's Triple-A All-Star Game in Durham, N.C., on July 16, but he feels his versatility in the field also contributed to earning him his second promotion.
"Playing second, short and third makes me more valuable, especially to National League teams," said Gosselin, who has also seen time at first base and in left field. "That's something I've really been working on, and I think it's good."
"I'll play him, I'll get him in the game," Gonzalez added. "I'll get him in the game someplace. He plays all the infield positions. He's even played a little in the outfield, so he's a great National League piece to have in the game."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.