The Rays are set to select the contract of left-handed reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter links). It’ll be the first appearance in the Majors for Venters since way back in 2012. The lefty was a star setup man for the Braves before injuries decimated a promising career. As Topkin notes, Venters has had three Tommy John surgeries in his career — two since his Braves days — as well as a “reattachment” procedure in 2016.
Now 33 years of age, Venters burst onto the scene with the 2010 Braves, working to a combined 1.89 ERA with 9.9 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 and roughly 70 percent ground-ball rate in his first two big league seasons. Venters’ results took a step back in 2012, though he still turned in a strong 3.22 ERA with similar K/BB numbers and slightly diminished ground-ball tendencies in 58 2/3 innings before going down with injury.
Venters didn’t pitch with any team’s minor league affiliate from 2013-15 and tossed just 27 2/3 innings in rehab stints over the past two seasons. He’s allowed a run on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings thus far in Triple-A Durham.
Tampa Bay has an open spot on its 40-man roster, so no 40-man move will need to be made to accommodate Venters’ promotion. Righty Hunter Wood will be optioned to Triple-A to clear a spot on the 25-man roster, per Topkin. Venters will join Jose Alvardo and Ryan Yarbrough as left-handed options in manager Kevin Cash’s bullpen for the time being.