Matt Kemp and Troy Tulowitzki aren’t the only National League stars who are hurting.
According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan Braun is out of tonight’s lineup against the Dodgers in order to rest nagging tightness in his right Achilles tendon. The injury has flared up at various times this season and he felt it again last night on a slide into second base.
Fortunately for the Brewers, it doesn’t appear to be a major concern, as Braun is available off the bench. Norichika Aoki is making the start in left field tonight.
Braun is batting .309/.395/.608 with 14 home runs, 36 RBI and a 1.003 OPS over 210 plate appearances this year. The Brewers have won three straight games entering play tonight, but sit in fourth place in the National League Central at 22-28.
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.