The adversity continues to pile up in St. Louis.
According to Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch, Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday will be held out of the starting lineup for a second straight game Sunday against the Indians due to back spasms.
It’s not a major injury and isn’t in danger of becoming one, but his absence is still a concern for a team with four fairly key offensive contributors (Lance Berkman, Jon Jay, Skip Schumaker and Matt Carpenter) currently on the disabled list. Not to mention ace Chris Carpenter and lefty Jaime Garcia.
Holliday is batting .276/.362/.458 with 10 homers and 35 RBI. He’ll presumably be back Tuesday.
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.