Rafael Furcal unlikely to return this weekend

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The Dodgers have decided to delay Rafael Furcal’s return from the disabled list after he felt some tightness in his right hamstring during two rehab games with Class A Inland Empire this week.

Furcal was originally expected to be activated on Friday, however Dodgers manager Joe Torre told Jim Peltz of the Los Angeles Times that “it’s probably going to be a few days” before Furcal returns to the lineup.

“He just didn’t feel sure that he could just turn it loose,” Torre said.
“He feels down about it, but we can’t have him unless he’s all the way
there. His speed means too much to his game. He didn’t reinjure
anything; it’s just not all the way back.”

Furcal was batting .309/.378/.420 with six RBI, eight stolen bases and 16 runs scored over his first 19 games before injuring the hamstring during the first game of a doubleheader against the Mets on April 27.
 

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.