Cubs' Silva hospitalized with abnormal heart rate

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Chicago Cubs right-hander Carlos Silva (10-4, 3.76 ERA), who is experiencing a stunning resurgence after two horrible seasons in Seattle, left Sunday’s game against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning with an abnormal heart rate, according to the Associated Press. He will remain in a Denver hospital overnight for observation.

Alan Trammell, managing the Cubs in place of Lou Piniella, who left the team to attend his uncle’s funeral, said he was unaware of any history of heart problems for Silva.

A Cubs trainer went to the mound after Silva walked the second batter he faced, Jonathan Herrera. Silva stayed in and allowed a single to Carlos Gonzalez and a ground-rule RBI double to Troy Tulowitzki.

Trammell and the trainer went back to the mound, and Silva was replaced by left-hander James Russell.

“Whether it is at the altitude, I don’t know,” Trammell said. “We saw something after Herrera’s at-bat when he backed off the mound. We thought something was wrong.”

The Chicago Tribune reported that Silva’s heart rate returned to normal on the way to the hospital, and that he was resting comfortably.

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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.