NBC SportsTalk: Is Yu Darvish worth the price?

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I was on NBC SportsTalk last night, talking about Yu Darvish.  Feel free to watch the clip for my analysis of his prospects in the major leagues.

Of course, if you read HBT you’ve read as much, so don’t assume I’m breaking new ground. No, the real reason you should watch it is because I got a new basement set and I think it’s totally hilarious that they call it “HBT Studio” on the screen graphic. We’re one quick conference call away from it saying “Craig’s fortified compound.”

Oh, and I put a Braves helmet in the background so I can represent some famous southeast bias on national TV. Also: Bill James and Jim Bouton books, as well as a copy of the Hardball Times annual.  And my little league glove.

TV is weird.

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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.