Joe Morgan of MLB.com reports that Brewers reliever Jim Henderson is scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow, which will likely be the final hurdle before he’s cleared for a minor league rehab assignment.
Henderson has been sidelined since May 2 due to right shoulder inflammation, but he made it through a bullpen session Saturday without any issues and played catch today. He might only need a couple of appearances in the minors before coming off the disabled list.
Francisco Rodriguez has had a couple of hiccups recently, but he’s still 17-for-18 in save chances and owns an excellent 1.57 ERA and 28/4 K/BB ratio over 23 innings. Henderson likely won’t get his old closer gig back anytime soon, but he could still be a valuable late-inning arm if 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.