We learned this morning that former major league player and manager Jim Fregosi suffered a stroke last weekend during a Major League Baseball alumni cruise and now Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that he has been taken off life support in a Miami hospital.
This is a clarification of an earlier report from DiGiovanna, as he was told by Dennis Gilbert that Fregosi had passed away. However, that information was premature. I posted the news of the initial report here at HardballTalk and I sincerely apologize for the error.
Keep fighting, Jim.
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.