Prosecutors want Pettitte, Knoblauch to testify at Clemens trial

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Roger Clemens is hoping the judge at his impending criminal trial will prevent prosecutors from calling his former Yankees teammates to the stand, claiming such testimony could lead to “guilt by association.”

Prosecutors, though, are planning to call Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch, Mike Stanton and possibly others to show that team traner Brian McNamee had access to performance-enhancing drugs and knew how to inject them.

McNamee says he gave steroids and human growth hormone to Clemens, an allegation the former Cy Young Award winner denies.

Clemens’ trial on charges that he lied to congress in February 2008 is scheduled to begin July 6. The prosecution expects to call about 45 witness, including the aforementioned three and admitted steroid user David Segui. Segui and drug supplier Kirk Radomski will testify that McNamee told them he had saved needles used to inject players.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton will preside.

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.