Were Braves unfair to Glavine?

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On Friday, Aaron Gleeman touched on
Tom Glavine’s first public appearance since the 305-game winner was
released by the Braves this week. There was a lot to digest from his
comments, but clearly the 43-year-old future Hall of Famer feels misled
and betrayed by his former club.

“I didn’t realize I was auditioning.
That was it. There was no ‘If you do this, or your velocity is this …
We’ll be evaluating you every step of the way. You’re trying out for
the team.’ None of that. It was ‘If everything goes well and you’re
healthy, you’ll pitch June 7’…. I was taking people at their word, and
at the end of that day that really didn’t seem to mean a whole lot.”

Even though Glavine had thrown 11 consecutive scoreless innings over
his last two rehab starts, the team made a “performance-decision” and
released the veteran, opting instead for young phenom Tommy Hanson. The
22-year-old right-hander has dominated the minors this season with a
sick 1.49 ERA along with 90 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings with Triple-A
Gwinnett. He is primed to make his long-awaited major league debut on
Sunday against the Brewers.

I don’t think many people would question the Braves for taking
Hanson — or even Kris Medlen — over Glavine. After all, Hanson was
already on a rapid rise in the organization, coming off a historic
performance in the Arizona Fall League, becoming the first pitcher to
win the league’s MVP award. And through 11 starts this season, he has
shown that he simply has nothing left to prove down there.

However, the way the situation was handled by general manager Frank
Wren is just plain slimy. It reeks of penny-pinching and disrespect for
a pitcher that won the 1995 World Series MVP with the franchise. I
never understood why the Braves brought him back at all, but Wren
deserves all the criticism he’s getting right now.

Vote in our poll and let us know if you think the Braves were unfair to Glavine.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.