Jake Peavy to make first of four rehab starts in minors tonight

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Jake Peavy will begin his rehab assignment tonight at Double-A and pitching coach Don Cooper indicated that he’ll be asked to make three additional starts in the minors before potentially rejoining the White Sox’s rotation.

That would put Peavy on track to come off the disabled list around May 5, which is the start of a nine-game road trip. Before that can happen he’ll need to avoid a setback and build up his arm strength, as Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that Peavy is slated to throw about 75 pitches tonight.

Philip Humber, who replaced Peavy in the rotation, is set to make his first start tomorrow against the Rays after making two appearances as a reliever. Peavy hasn’t pitched since July of last season because of shoulder problems.

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.