My old buddy Chris Jaffe over at The Hardball Times has a great note about Kyle Lohse and his attempt to make MLB history tonight.
Lohse is going up against the Twins, who’re one of his four former teams. And if he beats them he’ll have recorded at least one victory against all 30 big-league teams.
Jaffe notes that only 12 other pitchers in baseball history have defeated all 30 teams (although it’s worth noting that there have been 30 teams for a relatively short period of baseball history). Still, pretty cool. Check out Jaffe’s article for the full list that Lohse will be trying to join tonight.
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.