Royals calling up Johnny Giavotella … for a part-time role

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Last week when Yuniesky Betancourt got hurt and the Royals replaced him with career minor leaguer Irving Falu rather than 24-year-old prospect Johnny Giavotella it seemed … well, let’s be nice and say odd.

And now Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals have decided to call up Giavotella after all–apparently that extra week at Triple-A really did wonders for him–but they’re not doing so with the intention of actually playing him every day. You know, because that would make too much sense.

Instead, according to Dutton, he’s being called up to serve mostly as a platoon player versus left-handed pitching. Giavotella is a 24-year-old prospect who’s hit .331 at Triple-A this season after hitting .338 there last season, and yet the Royals would rather give the bulk of the playing time to 28-year-old Chris Getz and his .630 career OPS.

In completely unrelated news, Kansas City is 10-19.

UPDATE: To make room for Giavotella on the roster the Royals placed Jonathan Sanchez on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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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.