Come by HBT tonight as we celebrate Strasmas

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Strasburg debut.jpgOk, I really should stop calling it Strasmas.  For one thing, it’s been beaten to death by now. For another thing, Gleeman is Jewish so it would only be fair for us to make a couple of Strasukkah references. For that matter I’m pretty sure Pouliot celebrates Strasivus, so maybe the whole holiday meme should just end.  But I digress.

The point is that tonight Drew Silva — himself a Strasnzaa celebrant —  is going to be doing inning-by-inning updates of The Anointed One’s debut. The thread will turn into a nice community repository of your Strasburg observations which, once it is over, we will print out, lay in the cornerstone of a nice public building and forget about for a few hundred years.  When it’s finally dug up our descendants will have a nice laugh over how quaint baseball was before the alien barrier was broken and we let pitchers with eight fingers and two heads into the game.

Anyway, the thread will be popping up around 6:30 PM Eastern.  First one to comment wins the imaginary calculator Darren Rovell used to figure out how much each Stephen Strasburg start contributes to the Nats’ bottom line.

Enjoy!

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.