Brayan Villarreal has been shut down from pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League due to elbow soreness.
Villarreal tossed three scoreless innings with Caribes de Anzoategui before complaining of elbow soreness in mid-December. He was sent back to the United States for tests, which revealed inflammation but no structural damage. Still, the Tigers want him to play it safe and focus on being ready for spring training. The 25-year-old right-hander posted a 2.63 ERA and 66/28 K/BB ratio over 54 2/3 innings last season and should be a solid lock for a bullpen spot if healthy.