Austin Jackson is headed to the disabled list with a hamstring injury and the Tigers have called up Avisail Garcia from Triple-A to replace him on the roster.
It’s unclear how the Tigers will replace him in center field. Don Kelly started there in each of the past two games Jackson missed, but it seems unlikely that even Jim Leyland is obsessed enough with Kelly to keep that going. Torii Hunter could slide over from right field or Andy Dirks could slide over from left field, but whatever the case the Tigers are going to suffer defensively.
Garcia has also played some center field in the minors, but he’s been a corner outfielder this season while hitting .426 with two homers and a 1.076 OPS in 14 games.
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.