The Sox place Kevin Youkilis on the DL, activate Mike Lowell

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UPDATE: Turns out Youkilis has a torn muscle in his thumb. The team will be getting a second opinion on it (“hmmm, looks merely frayed!”), but the concern was that if he keeps playing, the muscle could detach from the bone. 

4:30 P.M.: Kevin Youkilis had an MRI on his wonky thumb today. It apparently didn’t look so good, because the Sox placed him on the disabled list. The corresponding move: Mike Lowell has been activated and will start at first base tonight.

It’s been so long since we’ve seen Lowell and he’s seemed so far away from the day-to-day of Red Sox consciousness that this reminds of the time the Batmobile got destroyed and Batman went back to that old retro-model he had with the big hood ornament. Still kicked ass, though, and I kind of hope that Lowell does too.

In other news, I’m pretty sure the Red Sox are going to activate me next. They’re running out of bodies, my friends.

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.