BBWAA changes Cy Young ballot, adds Forman

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This afternoon the Baseball Writers Association of America got together to vote on various issues and the meeting produced a couple interesting pieces of news.
First and foremost they voted to expand the Cy Young ballot from three spots to five spots, which is no doubt in response to the uproar caused by two writers leaving Chris Carpenter off their ballots last month. My suggestion is that the change should forever be known as the Keith Law Law.
And after adding several internet-based writers last year for the first time, the BBWAA will now open its doors for Sean Forman. You may not recognize that name, but Forman is the man behind the most indespensible, invaluable baseball website in the world (besides this one, of course): Baseball-Reference.com. He’s done a tremendous amount of work to advance both the history of baseball and the availability of statistics, and also happens to be one hell of a nice guy.

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.