Juan Rincon, MLB.com, and telling me it's raining

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With the struggling newspaper industry providing less and less unique
baseball coverage, MLB.com has done a great job beefing up its content
this season. However, every few days an article pops up as a reminder
that the reporting and analysis being done under the MLB.com roof isn’t
always the world’s most objective.

Juan Rincon is a 30-year-old reliever who’s been released by three
teams in the past 13 months and has a 5.41 ERA in 126 innings since the
beginning of 2007, yet based on the MLB.com article about his joining the Rockies’ bullpen you’d think that he … well, didn’t stink. Seriously, read some of this stuff:

While the makeup of the Rockies bullpen has continued to change
since early this year, the addition of righty Juan Rincon is expected
to make an impact. … Reliever Matt Daley has seen first hand the
presence Rincon can have on a team after a stint in Triple-A Colorado
Springs in late May to rehab his sprained left foot. “He brings a lot
of experience and knows exactly what he wants to do and how to get
hitters out,” said Daley.

Rincon’s experience in the American League could not come at a
better time for the Rockies, who are in the midst of a three-game
series with the Angels, then head to Oakland to play a three-game set.
“The experience that he brings, especially in Interleague series,
playing with the Twins for all those years brings a lot of information
that can be relayed back to us,” said Daley.

The words “experience” and “veteran” are used five times in a 300-word
article, writer Quinn Roberts suggests that Rincon “is expected to make
an impact,” and for some reason Matt Daley is willing to talk about the
washed-up reliever as if he were Mariano Rivera. My favorite Daleyism
is the notion that Rincon “knows exactly what he wants to do and how to
get hitters out.” Can you imagine how high his ERA would be without that knowledge?

It’s probably unrealistic and maybe even a little delusional to expect
a whole lot of objectivity and critical thinking from reporters who’re
being paid by MLB to write articles for a team’s official website, but
as a wise man once said: Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.