Matt Kemp gave the Dodgers quite a scare when he crashed into the center field fence at Coors Field on Tuesday night, but after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday, he’s back in the starting lineup tonight against the Diamondbacks.
Kemp ended up suffering a bruised right knee from the collision while a precautionary CAT scan on his jaw came back negative. He never showed any concussion symptoms.
The Dodgers have lost four out of their last five games, so Don Mattingly is using tonight’s game as an opportunity to shake things up. Kemp will bat cleanup for the first time this season while the recently-acquired Adrian Gonzalez will slide into the third spot.
Kemp, 27, is batting .337/.404/.584 with 17 home runs, 54 RBI and a .988 OPS in 78 games played this season.
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.