Braves put Ayala on DL with anxiety disorder

The Braves placed reliever Luis Ayala on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with anxiety disorder, stemming from recent problems he’s had with high blood pressure.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said Ayala first started suffering from high-blood-pressure symptoms when the Braves were in Colorado last week and went to the emergency room to get checked. He went back to the hospital the next day as well before the Braves flew him back to Atlanta for further evaluation. Ayala did not accompany the Braves to Detroit over the weekend.

“I think he started getting very anxious about just the way he was feeling and really wasn’t able to get a lot of relief,” Wren said.

Ayala tried to pitch through it, taking the loss Wednesday in a 6-5, 12-inning game after giving up two hits and a run in one-third of an inning. That, Wren said, was the last straw for him.

Wren said Ayala was put on blood-pressure medication that doctors hope will easy his anxiety as well. Ayala visited doctors in Atlanta before arriving at the Braves clubhouse Monday afternoon. He told Wren he was hopeful they are getting to the bottom of it.

“Right now it’s a function of him getting used to the medication and getting back to feeling well,” Wren said. “It’s a bit of a process to get those meds regulated.”

When he’s ready, Ayala will go out on a minor league rehabilitation assignment. In the meantime, the Braves have recalled right-hander David Carpenter from Triple-A Gwinnett.

Ayala was 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in five outings since the Braves traded minor leaguer Chris Jones to Baltimore for him April 10.

Carpenter gets his second call-up in 10 days. The Braves added him as an extra bullpen arm in Pittsburgh on April 20, but did not use him in the final two games of the series. They sent him back down when Freddie Freeman was activated from the disabled list.

Carpenter was 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA in six appearances for Gwinnett, walking four and striking out 11 in 15 1/3 innings.

Venters encouraged: Reliever Jonny Venters said he felt no discomfort in his elbow Tuesday as he began his throwing program with some light tosses four weeks after being shut down to rest his ailing elbow.

Venters did three sets from 60 feet, about 75 throws in all, in his first action since receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection April 2. He hopes the combination of treatment and rest will help him avoid a second elbow-reconstruction surgery, but he won’t know until he throws off a mound and ramps up the velocity.

Venters, who had “Tommy John” surgery in 2005 as a minor leaguer, felt good about the first step Tuesday.

“Today was encouraging to me because the first time when I needed surgery, I couldn’t throw 45 feet without having discomfort,” Venters said. “Today I didn’t have any kind of feeling in there at all. That’s definitely encouraging to me just for my own peace of mind.”

Venters wasn’t sure when he’ll start throwing off the mound, but hopes his elbow will continue to respond well, and he’ll return no later than the end of May.