Andy Pettitte: Man of Mystery

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Buster Olney on the return of Andy Pettitte:

The Yankees have structured Pettitte’s comeback in such a way that the
Rays will not get a last look at the veteran before the start of the
playoffs.

Andy Pettitte has pitched in 526 baseball games over the past 16 seasons. 31 of those games have come against the Rays. He hasn’t altered his pitching style since the first day I laid eyes on him. The only pitcher with whom the Rays are likely to have a greater familiarity is whoever throws BP at Tropicana Field.

Know what? I think a “last look at the veteran before the start of the playoffs” wouldn’t matter all that much.

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.