How can you not be romantic about baseball? After five years away following 2.5 Tommy John surgeries, Jonny Venters is back in the big leagues. On Wednesday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Rays would select his contract.
“This one is really fun. We’ve selected LH Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham Bulls. …His last major league game was 2,028 days and 2.5 Tommy John surgeries ago.”
The Rays are struggling at 8-13 in the early going, but they have won four in a row. And more than that, this is a special story. Venters, now 33, is back in the bigs. And while he’s not the same pitcher he was many years ago in Atlanta, this is incredible. Needless to say, it’s a dream come true. But even that’s putting it lightly. Speaking to Marc Tompkin, he says:
“Ita��s hard to put into words how Ia��m feeling. Ita��s been an emotional day.”
Venters would undergo his first Tommy John surgery back in 2005. His second one would occur in 2013, and then the setbacks would come into play. While rehabbing with Rays, he would tear his ligament again in July of 2016. But this time, Venters would opt for a reinforcement procedure rather than a full reconstruction.
And here we are.
With the Braves between 2010-12, Venters would record the following numbers: 229.2 innings, 2.23 ERA, 3.00 FIP, 2.67 DRA. Not only that, but he would induce groundballs at a staggering rate of 69 percent. Add in a 26.6 percent strikeout rate, and that’s just the icing on the cake. He has a 1.59 ERA in 5.2 Triple-A innings this season.
Welcome back, Jonny.