Allen Craig is off the disabled list and back in the Red Sox’s lineup tonight as the starting designated hitter after missing three weeks with a foot injury.
Acquired from the Cardinals on July 31 as part of the John Lackey trade, Craig tweaked his troublesome foot in his first game for the Red Sox. He hasn’t been the same since suffering a Lisfranc fracture to his left foot late last season, but his recent injury is said to be unrelated.
Craig played two games at Triple-A on a minor-league rehab assignment, collecting a single in five at-bats. He hit a combined .312 with an .863 OPS in 328 games for the Cardinals from 2011 to 2013, but Craig’s production has plummeted to a .237 batting average and .639 OPS in 98 total games this season.
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.