UPDATE: Nationals prospect Derek Norris hospitalized after beaning

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UPDATE: Ladson spoke with Norris, who said he expects to miss five to seven days due to a concussion.

11:07 AM: According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Nationals prospect catcher Derek Norris was hospitalized after being hit in the head by a fastball during a game with Class A Potomac on Friday night.

Norris was reportedly motionless on the field for 10 minutes before being taken away in an ambulance. According to a statement released by the team, Norris was conscious and able to move his extremities upon his arrival to the hospital.

“His vitals are fine and everything looks promising,” said Doug Harris,
the Nationals’ director of player development.

Norris, 21, is regarded as the organization’s best hitting prospect. He batted .286/.413/.513 with 23 home runs and 84 RBI with Single-A Harrisburg last season. He is batting .317/.472/.439 with one home run and six RBI over his first 41 at-bats this season after missing five weeks due to a broken bone in his right hand.
 

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.