Reds call back lefty Travis Wood for Thursday start

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The Reds optioned rookie left-hander Travis Wood to Triple-A Louisville in early August in an attempt to limit his innings total.  Well, that’s all over.  He was called back to the big leagues on Thursday afternoon and is scheduled to start this evening against the Diamondbacks.

Wood, 23, has posted a 2.65 ERA and 0.88 WHIP this season in his first eight major league starts, striking out 40 batters and walking only 13 over 51 innings.  Whether the time off and extended rest will affect his rhythm remains to be seen, but our guess is that it won’t.  He has not once looked over-matched this season.

The Reds have a three-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central and are going for a sweep of the Diamondbacks in Arizona on Thursday.  Wood should remain an active member of the Cincinnati starting rotation down the stretch as the Reds attempt to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

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.