Mike Lowell has a non-displaced rib fracture

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Mike Lowell was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in one of his ribs after undergoing an MRI and CT scan Friday.

“I’m medically cleared to play and as long as it doesn’t bother me it
should be fine,” said Lowell, who was in the lineup for the first game
of Saturday’s doubleheader against the White Sox. “There’s really
nothing to do. I feel fine. I feel like I’m swing the bat pretty well
lately. I think I feel it more when I go through my tee routine and I
get a number of swings in. That’s when I feel it. Overall I think it’s
OK.”

Lowell suffered the fractured when he collided with John McDonald of the Blue Jays during a play at first base on August 20. The good news is that this doesn’t sound like a Jacoby Ellsbury or Jeremy Hermida situation, but it’s about time to wonder if the Red Sox just aren’t drinking enough milk this season.

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.