Chipper Jones’ knee isn’t getting any better

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Ken Rosenthal reports that Chipper Jones’ knee is “getting more bothersome” and isn’t responding well to treatment.

Jones has been playing through it to varying results. He had a rough June. He’s hitting a bit better in July so far and has a six-game hitting streak going — but he’s Chipper, and his body doesn’t have a history of simply snapping back into shape.

The Braves are said to be looking for a bat. If Jones is gone it wouldn’t necessarily mean they’d need an infield bat, however, because Martin Prado is going to back shortly and he is a better third baseman than Jones is.  They could slide Prado to third if it comes to that and look for a left fielder.  Or they could just be content with Nate McLouth out there, but eventually he and Jordan Schafer in the same outfield is gonna be a problem.

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.