Rangers' Kinsler set to begin rehab assignment

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Ian Kinsler headshot.jpgAccording to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ian Kinsler is ready to kick off a rehab assignment this week at Double-A Frisco, where he will play three nine-inning games during the upcoming week.

Kinsler has been sidelined all month with a high ankle sprain, but played in an extended spring training game on Saturday and went 2-for-4.  He’s working his way back to full health and should really put a charge into the Rangers’ batting order once healthy. 

The second baseman batted .253/.327/.488 last season with 31 home runs, 32 doubles, four triples and 86 RBI in 566 at-bats.  He also swiped 31 bases and is a fantasy monster according to Rotoworld’s Season Pass.

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.