Adrian Beltre still hasn’t been cleared to run at full speed following his setback from a hamstring injury last month and T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that “it’s almost a certainty that Beltre won’t be ready until after the rosters expand in September.”
Beltre was on the verge of returning from the disabled list on August 6, but aggravated the injury running the bases and had to “start over again.”
Three weeks later his progress has been minimal, with manager Ron Washington explaining that Beltre is still trying to “build up stamina” and “leg strength.” In other words, even September 1 might be optimistic at this point.
Michael Young has become the Rangers’ everyday third baseman in Beltre’s absence, with an assortment of players shuffling through his old designated hitter spot.
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.