Jack Wilson is out of Eric Wedge’s doghouse

8 Comments

Mariners manager Eric Wedge and Jack Wilson have apparently put their differences behind them.

Wedge didn’t hide his frustration after Wilson pulled himself from a game last Wednesday against the Rangers. He called Wilson’s decision “unspeakable,” among other things, and held him out of the lineup over the weekend.

However, following a conversation yesterday, Wedge has put Wilson back in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.

“We had another conversation yesterday and that’s it,” Wedge said. “That’s the end of it. I don’t hold grudges — never have, never will, don’t believe in them. The coaches are here for the players and it’s just one of those bumps in the road that you work through, handle as best as you can and you learn from it and you are a little bit wiser for the wear. He will be better for it, the team will be better for it and it’s time for him to get back in there playing.”

There’s a couple ways to interprete Wilson’s decision. Initially I wondered whether he was unhappy with his recent move to second base, but it’s also possible that he didn’t want his inexperience at the position to be a further liability for the team. For the Mariners’ sake, hopefully it’s the latter.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
4 Comments

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.