Jonny Venters will try again.
This morning, the Tampa Bay Rays announced they had once again signed Jonny Venters to a minor league deal.
The Rays originally signed Venters back in March of 2015 as he was recovering from his third Tommy John Surgery. After a lengthy rehab, Venters pitched in his first professional game on June 4th, 2016 after a layoff of four years. It was cause for excitement as his velocity was reaching the low-to-mid 90’s.
Video: #Rays Jonny Venters 1IP, 24P/11K, 1K 2 GO. First regular season action since October 2012 91-93 on FB, 94 max https://t.co/it02JggUq5— Steve Kinsella (@Steve_Kinsella1) June 5, 2016
Unfortunately, that unraveled quickly. During his 5th appearance, Venters left after just four pitches and would ultimately be diagnosed with a torn UCL for the fourth time.
LHP Jonny Venters did tear his UCL, agent BB Abbott confirms. Still deciding whether to retire / keep trying. Has had 3 Tommy John surgeries— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 2, 2016
During his prime, Venters was a member of the vaunted Braves bullpen from 2010 to 2011. Over that time period, Venters had a 1.89 ERA over 171 innings pitched from the bullpen, which were the second most for a reliever from 2010 to 2011. Opponents only hit .186 off of him and struck out almost 27% of the time. He accrued nearly 3.0 fWAR over those two years.
In 2012, Venters suffered an elbow injury and would have to undergo the second Tommy John surgery of his career. While rehabbing, he would once again get hurt and have to undergo the third Tommy John surgery.
@Adam_A_Sanford He underwent a procedure, but not TJ— Neil Solondz (@neilsolondz) March 30, 2017
Good luck Jonny, hopefully all goes well this time.