Mets lose Nelson Figueroa to Phillies on waivers

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Wanting some extra pitching depth with Joe Blanton hurting and both Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick in the rotation, the Phillies claimed right-hander Nelson Figueroa off waivers from the Mets.
Figueroa had a 4.28 ERA in 115.2 innings for the Mets over the past two seasons, but his 95/50 K/BB ratio was sub par and he’s also 36 years old. New York designated him for assignment over the weekend after choosing to rush 20-year-old prospect Jenrry Mejia to the majors.
He’s pretty much the epitome of a fifth starter/long reliever, so Figueroa may be back on the waiver wire soon enough. In fact, this is actually his second stint with the Phillies. Figueroa was originally sent from Arizona to Philadelphia as part of the trade package for Curt Schilling back in July of 2000, but was lost on waivers to the Brewers a year later after going 4-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 89 innings.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.