Orlando Cabrera plays bat boy

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Something about this makes me smile: Orlando Cabrera is on the DL, so yesterday he put on the “BB” uniform and played bat boy during the Reds-Marlins game. Wore the helmet and everything.  The only downside is that he quit after the fifth inning.

This is not unprecedented in Reds history, of course. Marge Schott used to make Chris Sabo serve as batboy for every game between 1988 and 1991. And not just when he was on the DL. It was Marge’s way of saving the $75 she would have had to pay a real bat boy. True story.

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.