Jacoby Ellsbury expected to return Wednesday

10 Comments

More good news here for the Red Sox, who clinched the American League East crown on Friday night.

According to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, manager John Farrell told the media Sunday morning at Fenway Park that center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury “might be in the lineup Wednesday” at Colorado’s Coors Field after sitting out the past three weeks with a compression fracture in his right foot.

Ellsbury was cleared for baseball-related activities last week and has been setback-free to this point.

The 30-year-old impending free agent was batting .299/.355/.424 with 52 stolen bases and 89 runs scored in 131 games before the injury. He’s going to hit it big on the open market this winter.

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.