Whatever chance Jason Giambi had of making the Indians’ active roster out of spring training is gone now, as the veteran designated hitter suffered a broken rib from being hit by a pitch Friday.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Giambi is expected to be sidelined for 3-4 weeks and he was already no sure thing to make the team on a minor-league contract, although this does provide an opportunity for the Indians to simply place him on the disabled list and put off a 25-man roster decision until later.
Giambi is extremely popular in the Indians’ clubhouse and has been viewed as sort of a player/coach for a while now, but he hit just .183 with a .653 OPS in 71 games last season and wasn’t much better in 2012.
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.