Out since mid-April with a strained oblique muscle, Rays right-hander Alex Cobb is scheduled to come off the disabled list Thursday to start against the A’s.
Cobb was off to a very strong start before the injury and tossed five shutout innings in a minor-league rehab start Saturday at Single-A, striking out nine batters and throwing 46 of 64 pitches for strikes.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Cobb threw a bullpen session this afternoon that was the final touch to convincing the Rays he’s ready to return. Dating back to last season the 25-year-old is 12-4 with a 2.66 ERA in 25 starts.
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.