Craig Calcaterra, our man-on-the-ground this week in New York, noticed before Monday night’s Home Run Derby that the embarrassing 7-7 tie in the 2002 All-Star Game was not represented along with the other recent Midsummer Classic results on the out-of-town scoreboard at Citi Field.
But a certain change has been made ahead of Tuesday night’s festivities:
Here’s a closer look (the years are listed where you usually find those pitcher jersey numbers):
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.