The greatest story of perseverance in baseball history has added another chapter.
The Tampa Bay Rays have called up left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham.
Jonny Venters last pitched in a major league game on October 5th, 2012 while he was still a member of the Atlanta Braves. Venters, at one time, was one of the best relievers in all of baseball, but he was plagued by poor performance during the 2012 season. Eventually he had to undergo the second Tommy John surgery of his professional career, costing him the whole 2013 season. While rehabbing the surgery, Venters suffered a torn UCL yet again and had to undergo Tommy John surgery for a third time.
The Rays picked him up in March of 2015, signing him to a two year deal. While rehabbing with the Rays, Venters would tear his UCL for the 4th time, but instead of Tommy John surgery, he underwent a slightly different procedure. Despite the onslaught of injuries, Venters persevered.
Venters began another rehab assignment in the lower levels of the Rays system last summer and progressed his way up the ladder to Triple-A Durham, with whom he finished the year.
He re-signed with Tampa Bay this past offseason and after failing to make the club out of spring training, he was reassigned back to Durham. Thus far in five games with the Durham Bulls, Venters has allowed two runs on four hits, over just shy of six innings pitched.
The Rays have optioned RHP Hunter Wood to Durham to clear space on the roster.