Josh Beckett’s status for All-Star Game to be determined Sunday

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Josh Beckett, who left his start Friday night with a hyperextended left knee, will throw a side session Sunday that will determine his availability for Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Phoenix, WEEI reports..

It sounds like Beckett will be fine to pitch as soon as play resumes following the break.  However, the Red Sox aren’t so sure whether they want him throwing an inning Tuesday.

“Obviously, not just for his start going forward with us, but with All-Star ramifications, you don’t want to hold up the league. They’ve got their hands full as it is,” manager Terry Francona said Saturday. “If he’s OK, he’s OK. If he needs to hold off then we will do that also. We respect the All-Star stuff, but we also have an obligation to our team.”

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.