Los Angeles’ catching duo of Tim Federowicz and Drew Butera has been incredibly bad this season while subbing for the injured A.J. Ellis, hitting a combined .143 with a .393 OPS.
That’s some pitcher-caliber hitting, so the Dodgers have decided to demote Federowicz back to the minors and call up veteran Miguel Olivo from Triple-A.
The good news is that Olivo was hitting .390 with four homers and a 1.099 OPS in 15 games at Triple-A.
The bad news is that Olivo is 35 years old and has hit a combined .222 with a .633 OPS during the past three seasons. And even while lighting up Triple-A recently he posted a ghastly 19/3 K/BB ratio. He can’t help but be an improvement over Federowicz and Butera, but Olivo is a pretty awful hitter himself.
They need Ellis to get healthy.
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.