Victor Martinez lands on DL with groin strain

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MLB.com’s Jason Beck confirmed Tuesday that the Tigers are placing Victor Martinez on the 15-day disabled list because of the strained right groin he suffered Monday night.

It’s certainly not the way the Tigers wanted to go about it, but it does alleviate the playing-time conundrum that had arisen with Magglio Ordonez back from his ankle injury. Now the Tigers can let Ordonez serve as a DH most of the time, with Ryan Raburn and Brennan Boesch manning the outfield corners.

That’s the team’s best defensive alignment. Last night, the Tigers used Raburn at second base, with Ordonez and Boesch in the outfield, in an 8-3 win over the Mariners.

The Tigers weren’t carrying a true backup catcher with Martinez sharing time behind the plate, so Omir Santos gets the call in Martinez’s place. He’ll play behind Alex Avila and start against the occasional left-hander over the next couple of weeks. Martinez had started five games at catcher and 11 at DH for the 8-9 Tigers.

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.