Jake Westbrook is in The Best Shape of His Life

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A few days ago I was lamenting the fact that we may be nearing the end of BSOHL season, but then I remembered that it really peaks when spring training starts and the writers tweet about players’ bodies a lot.  Like this:

This BSHOL may be a bit premature — he should give an interview talking about it or have a feature story done on it first — but if he has truly lost 25 pounds, that is almost certainly the Best Shape of His Life.

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.