Veteran starter Bronson Arroyo made his second rehab start with the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League affiliate today, allowing no earned runs and two walks while striking out three over five innings. The 39-year-old is making his way back from partial rotator cuff tendon tears, and he still hopes to return to the big leagues in 2016, as MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweets. It would be quite a comeback for the vet, who hasn’t appeared in the Majors since pitching 86 innings with the Diamondbacks in 2014. Here’s more from the East divisions.
- The Rays have announced that reliever Jonny Venters has a “left UCL injury,” and the injury is in fact a UCL tear, the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin writes (Twitter links). Venters briefly appeared in a rehab assignment in Class A+ this season. It’s been a brutal series of events for the lefty, who was attempting to come back after having Tommy John surgery for the third time. He is unsure whether to retire or continue to try to return to the Majors. Venters hasn’t appeared in the bigs since 2012, when he whiffed 69 batters in 58 2/3 innings for the Braves. Venters’ career stat line — 2.23 ERA, 10.1 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, and a ridiculous 68.4% ground-ball rate — is borderline dominant, but he can’t seem to make his way back to the mound.
- The Red Sox have moved hard-throwing righty Joe Kelly to the bullpen, Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com writes. “Power arm,” says manager John Farrell. “[T]his will be the first time that we’ve shifted him to that role here. This is for multiple reasons — for the time it would take to stretch him back out, potential of shorter stints, the stuff playing up, possibly more productive.” Kelly is currently returning from a groin injury and has not pitched since early June. He’s struggled badly in six big-league starts this season. Farrell believes Kelly can make it back to the bigs just after the All-Star break. As Hannable implies, Kelly’s move to the bullpen reinforces the likelihood that the Red Sox will look for starting pitching help later this month.