Mariners recall Tom Wilhelmsen despite 10.50 ERA in AAA

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Tom Wilhelmsen was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma on August 6 and registered a 10.50 ERA over 12 2/3 innings there, but the Mariners have decided to recall him anyway because Tacoma’s season is just about over and major league rosters have expanded to 40.

“Hopefully he can flip that switch again,” manager Eric Wedge told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times on Sunday. “I do feel strongly that he’s going to be a part of this. In what role, I don’t know. He has too big an arm. He has too much experience. He’s had too much success up here in a vital role not to be.”

Wilhelmsen converted 29 saves alongside a 2,50 ERA and 9.9 K/9 in 2012 and got off to a fine start this season, but the wheels fell off for him around mid-June and he hasn’t been able to screw them back on.

Danny Farquhar has been serving as the Mariners’ primary closer since the beginning of August.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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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.