Jamie Moyer “Same as he’s been for the past 15 years”

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We mentioned Jamie Moyer’s throwing sessions for scouts the other day. Today Ken Rosenthal has some more on that, having spoken to some scouts. The verdict from a scout:

“Same as he’s been for the past 15 years — as incredible as that may sound. He has a chance to pitch in the big leagues as a fifth starter and win 10 or 12 games. He’s throwing 81 to 83 miles an hour, but he still knows how to make you look like an idiot. He doesn’t need the money. But I think he has that fire burning in his belly.”

Rosenthal says several teams have sent scouts to watch him throw, but that the interest in Moyer is likely to be concentrated on the west coast, with teams in pitcher-friendly parks like San Diego, Seattle, Anaheim and places like that the most likely to take a chance on the 49-year-old lefty.

Only thing that gives me pause is that the usual path back for a Tommy John surgery recipient is to have his velocity — such as it is in Moyer’s case — return before his command and touch.  Moyer is all about command and touch. Has been since Clinton’s first term. If there’s even a slight problem with that when he takes the hill in a game situation, it’s gonna look like batting practice.

But hey, if the scouts are saying good things now, you probably have to take their word for it.

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.