The Braves will go with a three-man rotation. Probably.

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Bobby Cox just announced that his playoff rotation will be Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson and then either Lowe on three days rest or Brandon Beachy. No Jair Jurrjens. He’s down in Florida trying to get healthy. He may be back by the NLCS if the Braves get that far.

I assume that by “Brandon Beachy” he meant “no, really, Lowe on three days rest,” because while I think this Beachy kid has something of a future, I really don’t want Game 4 of what would by then, by definition, be a tight playoff series started by a minor league swingman who, if he showed anything these past few weeks, it’s that he’s not yet ready for late season, pressure-baseball. 

Lowe may be cooked by the time Game 4 comes around, but Beachy — no matter how much I want to root for him — needs some more time in the oven.

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.