Despite piles of evidence to the contrary, Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp is apparently human.
According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, the 27-year-old has been scratched from Sunday’s series finale against the Cubs because of a tight left hamstring.
There are rainy conditions at and around Chicago’s Wrigley Field, and the Dodgers don’t want to risk turning a minor thing into something major.
Tony Gwynn Jr. will start in center field in his place.
Kemp has posted an outrageous .392/.474/.825 slash line, 12 homers and 27 RBI in 116 plate appearances this season. It’s not clear whether he’s going to play in Monday night’s series-opener against the Giants.
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.