Whatever optimism the Cardinals had yesterday surrounding David Freese’s back injury disappeared quickly, as the team announced that he’ll begin the season the disabled list.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the current hope is for Freese to be activated on April 8 for the home opener, which would mean missing a total of just six games.
Freese, who suffered the injury three weeks ago while diving into the stands, got an anti-inflammatory injection after an MRI exam showed no structural damage. He played a career-high 144 games last season, hitting .293 with 20 homers and an .839 OPS while making his first All-Star appearance.
The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.
Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.