Twins sound ready to dump Mike Pelfrey from rotation

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Mike Pelfrey turned in another terrible start for the Twins today, allowing five runs in four innings against the Dodgers to drop to 0-3 with a 7.99 ERA on the season.

Pelfrey was also terrible for the Twins last season, going 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts, yet for some reason Minnesota felt the need to re-sign him and gave him a two-year contract worth $11 million.

And now, five starts into that deal, it sounds like they’re preparing to dump him from the rotation. Manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters after the game that the coaching staff will meet to discuss the options with Pelfrey, but Samuel Deduno is available to step into the rotation if needed and the Twins also have top prospect Alex Meyer waiting in the wings at Triple-A.

Re-signing Pelfrey struck me as a bad idea at the time and certainly looks even worse now, with a slight drop in velocity and horrendous control suggesting that he may not be at full strength physically in addition to simply not being all that good.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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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.