I was on MLB Network’s Clubhouse Confidential last night. It was a pretty cool. They put me in front of a green screen with a picture of the Columbus, Ohio skyline and everything. They would not, sadly, let me display my Braves batting helmet and box of Justin Verlander Fastball Flakes, so a few demerits there.
Anyway, we talked about the John Gibbons hire, the Blue Jays’ outlook in general and the free agent outfielders and pitchers who are not Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke, respectively.
Oh, and in my defense, this was taped and aired BEFORE Hiroki Kuroda signed back with the Yankees, so it’s not like I was ignoring reality. Enjoy:
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.