Robinson Cano is out of the Mariners’ lineup tonight for the second straight game with an illness.
Cano played in all of the Mariners’ first 52 games, hitting .327 with two homers and a .790 OPS, but then missed Thursday night against the Angels and is now sitting out against the Tigers too. His absence gives Nick Franklin a chance to play his old position after having the second base job taken away from him when the Mariners signed Cano to a $240 million contract this offseason.
Franklin put up big numbers at Triple-A following his demotion, but has hit just .150 with 18 strikeouts in 15 games for the Mariners while trying to learn to play the outfield on the fly.
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.