Last week manager Fredi Gonzalez revealed that the Braves hadn’t even given any thought to recalling Jair Jurrjens from Triple-A, saying: “Without making this sound cruel, he’s a minor league player right now.”
At the time Jurrjens had put together three straight impressive outings, but that all unraveled last night as he got rocked for 11 runs in 4.2 innings, serving up two homers among 12 total hits.
Jurrjens was an All-Star last season before injuries derailed him and is currently being paid $5.5 million to pitch in the minors, but even as Mike Minor gets knocked around in the Braves’ rotation it’s clear he won’t be back in Atlanta any time soon.
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.