“Rival executives” believe Fredi Gonzalez is on the hot seat

11 Comments

Those Rival Executives. Always taunting me like this. Rosenthal, after reminding us that the Braves are 1-10 this spring, reports:

Gonzalez, unlike the Boston Red Sox’s Terry Francona, survived his team’s collapse, in large part because the Braves value stability.

A poor start, though, could alter the equation. Rival executives believe that Gonzalez, entering the second year of a three-year contract, already is on probation.

I’m not going to get my hopes up that my least favorite Braves manager in many years might get canned. Because the thing about the Braves I dislike even more than Fredi is its corporate ownership. And the Braves’ corporate ownership likely wouldn’t approve getting rid of Gonzalez if it meant having to pay two managers at once. Would mess up the ledger that someone spent a good bit of time making look all neat.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
2 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.