Kevin Kouzmanoff got back to the majors for the first time since 2011 and hit .362 with a 1.029 OPS in 13 games for the Rangers filling in for the injured Adrian Beltre … and now he’s hurt too.
Kouzmanoff has been placed on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his back and T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes that “it hasn’t been determined if he will need surgery.”
Texas is expected to activate Beltre from the disabled list tonight anyway, so it’s unclear how much playing time Kouzmanoff would have gotten going forward, but it’s an awfully tough break for a guy who had a chance to get his career back on track.
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.