Ryan Zimmerman likely done for the season with rib injury

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Ryan Zimmerman is out of the Nationals’ lineup today for the fifth straight game and William Ladson of MLB.com reports that he’s “likely done for the season because of a rib injury.”
He doesn’t get much attention because the Nationals are so bad, but Zimmerman has put together back-to-back excellent seasons. He batted .292/.364/.525 with 33 homers, 37 doubles, and 72 walks in 157 games last year and has hit .307/.388/.510 with 25 homers, 32 doubles, and 69 walks in 142 games this year.
Toss in elite defense at third base and he’s somewhat quietly been one of the best all-around players in the National League. In fact, during the past two seasons Zimmerman is one of just three NL players to accumulate more than seven Wins Above Replacement according to Fan Graphs. The other two? Albert Pujols and Joey Votto.

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.