Arolids Chapman is coming

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At 105 miles per hour, it should take Aroldis Chapman just under an hour to get from Louisville to Cincinnati today or, at the latest, tomorrow, which is when Jeff Passan is reporting that the Reds are going to call the dude up.

It’s almost unfair that the Reds, riding high right now, have a weapon like Chapman they can call up.  If he’s even partially as effective for the Cincinnati as he’s been for Lousiville since moving to the pen, the Reds are going to be even tougher down the stretch than they otherwise shaped up to be.

Recent playoff history has featured a number of late season callups rocking the bullpen with effectiveness. Chapman may be the next.  And as long as his late inning stint this fall doesn’t convince the Reds to chuck the notion of him being a starter and they instead turn him into a full-time relief pitcher, I’ll be happy to see it.

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.