Papelbon needs to speed it up

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If he wants to avoid going broke, that is:

Jonathan Papelbon’s slow play once again drew the ire of Major
League Baseball, which fined the Red Sox closer today for taking too
long to deliver a pitch for at least the fifth time this season, an
infraction incurred Tuesday night.

The league fined Papelbon $5,000 for a failure to comply with a new
rule designed to increase the pace of games. Papelbon vowed he would
finally adjust to the rules while not allowing them to change his mound
approach.

Sox games are plenty long enough when Papelbon isn’t screwing around like this, so I hope the fines finally start to have some effect on the lad.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.