Josh Hamilton was originally hoping to make his return from left thumb surgery tonight, but the Angels will have to wait a little bit longer to get him back in the lineup.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com passes along word that Hamilton is currently dealing with a bone bruise in his thumb that is unrelated to the surgery. He suffered the setback when he got jammed by a pitch while playing in his first minor league rehab game last Thursday. He’ll take at least one day off from swinging a bat and will have go back out on a rehab stint before being cleared to rejoin the Angels.
Hamilton was hitting .444 (12-for-27) with two home runs, six RBI, and a 1.286 OPS over eight games prior to tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb on a head-first slide on April 8.
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.