Yankees manager Joe Girardi has moved Alex Rodriguez to the second spot in the lineup tonight, in between leadoff man Brett Gardner and No. 3 hitter Robinson Cano. Last time Rodriguez hit second in a big-league game? August 26, 2006.
Back then Rodriguez was 30 years old and in his third season with the Yankees, winning MVP honors the previous season and the next season. He went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and didn’t bat second again until now.
For his career Rodriguez has batted second 497 times, hitting a combined .320 with 118 homers and a .948 OPS that basically matches his career mark of .943.
The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.
Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.