He doesn’t sound like the picture of health, but Josh Hamilton says he’s feeling better. He took some batting practice yesterday and shagged flies. Though, as Anthony Andro of the Star-Telegram reports, he didn’t make any throws and still has a lot of stiffness. He says he’s working out at about 60% right now.
Hamilton says if things keep progressing like this, that he could get into a game this weekend. As a DH, I’d guess, to avoid those throws. The key for him now would be to do whatever he can to knock the rust off his hitting timing. Because, really, the Rangers need his bat something awful.
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.