Yesterday when the Cardinals announced Albert Pujols’ absence they cited a four-to-six week time frame for his absence. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting, however, that one shouldn’t get too optimistic about all of that:
Am told Pujols needs 4 weeks in cast but may need longer wait for baseball-related activies. Mid-August return more likely than early Aug.
If four weeks is just until the cast comes off, you have to figure a good couple of weeks after that, if not more, before he can actually get back to playing speed.
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.