Tim Belcher steps down as Indians pitching coach

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Indians bench coach Tim Tolman resigned yesterday because of Parkinson’s disease and today pitching coach Tim Belcher stepped down to “spend more time with his family.”

Sandy Alomar Jr. was immediately promoted from first base coach to bench coach to replace Tolman, but the Indians haven’t decided on Belcher’s replacement yet.

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer speculates that bullpen coach Scott Radinsky has the inside track on the job.

Belcher, who won 146 games during a 14-year career with seven different teams, spent two seasons as the Indians’ pitching coach and is expected to remain in the organization as an “advisor.”

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.