Scott Schoeneweis hoping to make a comeback this year

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For Scott Schoeneweis, things haven’t been very easy these past couple of years.

The 37-year-old lefty lost his wife to a drug overdose in May of 2009 and has pitched to a 7.41 ERA and 1.89 WHIP over the last two years with Arizona and Boston.  The Red Sox gave him a look in 2010 when he was dumped by the Diamondbacks, but they designated him for assignment after just 15 appearances because he was ineffective and hurting their bullpen.

Schoeneweis, owner of a .229/.304/.309 career line against left-handed batters, hasn’t pitched in a big league game since the Red Sox cut ties with him on May 19, 2010.

But he’s hoping to change that.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Schoeneweis is on the hunt for a minor league contract and an invitation to spring training.  He wants to win a lefty specialist gig in a team’s bullpen and thinks he is well enough physically to turn his career around in 2011.

“I don’t know too many people who could have done what I’ve done considering the circumstances,” Schoeneweis told Cafardo.  “Seems as if I’m being penalized instead of applauded.  It’s not sour grapes. My place is more important to be here raising the kids, but for me personally, I wasn’t quite done. My skills haven’t diminished.”

The veteran southpaw will probably get a shot somewhere.  Whether he actually has something left is another story.

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.