Johnny Cueto only threw eight pitches in Game 1 of the NLDS on Saturday because of back spasms. Because of the nearly non-outing, there was hope that he could come back to pitch Game 3. That’s not happening, though: last night Dusty Baker announced that it would be Homer Bailey.
The Reds are being cautious with Cueto, wanting to make sure that he doesn’t have another short, bullpen-taxing outing. Also at work here: the luxury of having a two-game lead in a five-game series allowing the Reds this extra room to operate.
Oh, and of course the guy who will be getting the ball threw a no-hitter ten days ago, so there’s that.
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.