John Lackey started his minor-league rehab assignment yesterday by throwing 3.2 scoreless innings at Double-A as he recovers from a strained biceps.
Lackey threw 67 pitches in his first appearance since leaving his April 6 start with what looked liked a potentially serious arm injury, striking out five and walking two while allowing three hits.
Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that he’s expected to make at least one more rehab start before possibly coming off the disabled list and rejoining the Red Sox’s rotation.
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.