The Brewers signed veteran reliever Francisco Rodriguez as a free agent on April 17. In the time since, “K-Rod” has been working his way back with Single-A Brevard County, with whom he made two appearances, striking out four and walking one in two innings. The right-hander was just promoted to Triple-A Nashville, per Adam McCalvy.
McCalvy also notes the Brewers have to decide on K-Rod’s fate by Thursday, so GM Doug Melvin will watch him pitch in Nashville on Monday and Tuesday.
Last year with the Brewers, Rodriguez posted a 4.38 in 72 innings.
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.