Stephen Strasburg passes first test at Triple-A

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stephen strasburg headshot double-a.jpgDifferent level, same results. Stephen Strasburg allowed just one hit over six scoreless innings in his debut for Triple-A Syracuse on Friday night. According to Jennifer McCaffery of MLB.com, Strasburg threw 45 of 65 pitches for strikes, striking out six while walking just one. He topped out at 99 mph on the radar gun.

The 2009 No. 1 overall pick is 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA though his first six starts in the minors, posting a 33/7 K/BB ratio over 28 innings.

Here’s what Syracuse manager Trent Jewett told Matt Michael of Baseball America following Friday’s impressive outing:

“He’s got pace of game, he’s got confidence, he’s
got location, he’s got stuff, all he needs is experience,” Chiefs
manager Trent Jewett said. “Come watch while you can.

It’s only a matter of when.
 

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.