Casey Blake hospitalized with infected elbow, could miss four weeks

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Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Casey Blake “appears to be headed back to the 15-day disabled list” after being hospitalized yesterday in Florida for a fever that the Dodgers believe stems from a swollen, infected elbow.

Dodgers trainer Stan Conte believes that Blake could be sidelined for a month and Don Mattingly noted that “it’s one of those situations you can’t play around with.”

Blake is out of the lineup for today’s game against the Marlins after sitting out Monday and Tuesday, with Mattingly telling Hernandez that the third baseman’s swollen elbow may cause doctors to “open it up and flush it out.”

Aaron Miles is apparently Mattingly’s preferred replacement at third base despite his abysmal .231 batting average and .544 OPS in 174 games since 2009.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.