So much for Carlos Zambrano not having to miss any time with the back injury that forced him from yesterday’s start.
He felt good enough to attend a softball game last night–and narrowly avoid getting hit with a foul ball while doing an on-camera interview–but the Cubs have placed him on the disabled list while activating Kerry Wood.
With the All-Star break coming up it makes sense that the Cubs would play it safe with the 30-year-old Zambrano, who leads the league in starts and ranks 10th in innings while posting a career-worst 4.34 ERA.
Wood has been out since early June with a blister on his right index finger, but tossed 24 innings with a 2.25 ERA and 21/10 K/BB ratio prior to landing on the shelf.
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.