Carlos Martinez was up with the Cardinals earlier this season, appearing in seven games as a reliever before they sent the 21-year-old top prospect back to the minors to resume starting.
Martinez thrived at Triple-A, posting a 1.98 ERA in eight starts, and now the Cardinals have called him back up.
For now he seems likely to work out of the bullpen again, but Martinez is one of the best starter prospects in baseball–he cracked Baseball America‘s top 40 overall before the season and has upped his stock since then–so it’s only a matter of time before he joins the 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.