Eric Chavez is hurt

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UPDATE: Turns out that Chavez fractured his fifth metatarsal bone. Which is his pinky toe to you and me.

3:02 PM: Eric Chavez got the start at third base for the Yankees this afternoon but he had to leave the game after pulling up lame on a triple.  No official word yet, but it looked like a groin pull or strain or whatever you do to groins.

I was tempted to make a “news flash!” joke about it, but this kind of bums me out. Chavez may have been the walking wounded for half a decade, but he had a great spring and has been pretty darn useful for the Yankees so far.  His line of .303/.410/.424 has made giving Alex Rodriguez days off a much more palatable option. Now it’s pretty thin on the Yankees bench.

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.