Andre Ethier placed on the disabled list

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andre ethier headshot dodgers.jpgBad news for the Dodgers: Ken Rosenthal reports that Andre Ethier
is heading to the disabled list.

Ethier fractured the
tip of his pinkie finger while taking practice swings on Saturday. Regrettably for the Dodgers, he happened to be leading the NL in all three triple crown categories at the time, and has become the team’s designated walkoff artist.  There isn’t a player they need more than him at the moment, so his loss will no doubt be felt.

And that would be the case even if his primary replacements weren’t Garret Anderson (.136/.161/.237) and Reed Johnson (.242/.250/.355).  Dodgers fans will feel their contributions, all right, much in the same way one feels White Castle hamburgers after an ill-advised swing through the drive-thru after an evening of Jager shots.

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.