David Ortiz becomes the all-time hit leader among designated hitters

51 Comments

David Ortiz is in the middle of perhaps the best season of his career and had another big game last night. Big for its own sake and big for the milestone he passed: Otiz is now the all-time hit leader among designated hitters.

Ortiz passed Harold Baines on the list, rapping his 1,689th hit as a DH.

Nice touch: after the scoreboard at Safeco Field noted the accomplishment, the Seattle fans gave Ortiz a standing ovation. If anyone appreciates a good DH its Seattle, where Edgar Martinez plied his trade.

So far the Hall of Fame doors have been shut to Edgar Martinez, with the thinking being that a DH is somehow not deserving of a spot in Cooperstown. Or, at the very least, that a DH’s offensive contributions need to be head and shoulders above that of other players given his lack of defensive value. I don’t subscribe to this inasmuch as being one of the few best at your position should get you into the Hall, regardless of what that position entails. I think Edgar passes muster. I think David Ortiz certainly does too.  And I think both of them should be, and one day will be, in the Hall of Fame.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
3 Comments

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.