Josh Beckett slapped what figured to be a single into right field in the third inning Thursday against the Cardinals. Carlos Beltran had other plans. He threw out Beckett at first base on the play.
As you can see, Beckett did run out of the box, and he only pulled up at the end when he realized the throw was going to beat him. It wasn’t a lack of hustle on his part; it was just the combination of a well-hit ball, a slow runner, and a very good throw from an excellent outfielder who was playing shallow.
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.