As expected the Red Sox officially announced Bob McClure as their new pitching coach and also added Alex Ochoa as first base coach, which … well, it makes me feel really, really old.
It’s one thing when players from your childhood start getting coaching jobs, but it’s another thing when prospects from your childhood start getting those gigs.
I can remember Ochoa being on Baseball America‘s annual top 100 prospects list every year in the mid-1990s. He never quite developed as hoped, but was a pretty solid role player for a decade or so. And now he’s a 39-year-old first base coach.
McClure takes over for Curt Young as the Red Sox’s pitching coach after filling the same role with the Royals for the past six seasons.
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.