Evan Gattis caught all nine innings for the Braves in last night’s rain-delayed victory over the Mets and now, about eight hours after the final out, he’s headed to the disabled list with an oblique strain.
Gattis has been a fantastic story, finally getting a chance in the majors as a 26-year-old rookie and taking advantage of it by smacking 14 homers and 11 doubles in 163 at-bats for a .577 slugging percentage.
Unfortunately for Gattis oblique injuries tend to require more than the minimum 15-day stay on the disabled list, so the Braves will turn back to Gerald Laird as Brian McCann’s backup and be without Gattis’ big presence as a late-inning bench bat.
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.