Or get for them. Chris Jaffe of the Hardball Times takes a look at that today. He analyzes the end of each team’s bench — the dregs of the big league roster — to see who benefitted the most from their Shlabotniks.
One takeaway: any Phillies fan who tells you that they were just a couple of injured starters away from contention is full of it. Their depth was godawful too. Another: The difference between the Rays and the Orioles may very well have been their Shlabotniks.
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.