Losing Derek Jeter will make you do crazy things. Like use Robinson Cano at shortstop, which the Yankees did in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles after having pinch-hit for Jayson Nix. Catcher Francisco Cervelli took Cano’s spot at second base.
Cano has logged 10,490 defensive innings at the Major League level, all of them at second base. Surprisingly, this is not the first time the Yankees have used a catcher at second base — Jorge Posada played there in 2011 during a 22-9 pounding of the Athletics.
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.