After some false starts and mixed reports, it now appears as if Mets captain and third baseman David Wright will be back in the lineup on Friday night.
Wright has been out for six-and-a-half weeks with a high-grade right hamstring strain. He was batting .309 with a .904 OPS in 105 games before the injury. Why the Mets are bringing him back with a week before the end of the season is a bit curious — it would really stink if he aggravated his hamstring in meaningless games — but I imagine there is some leadership/symbolism going on here, along with a personal desire of Wright to finish the year on his feet rather than on his kiester.
Which is actually kind of admirable.
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.