Jason Marquis to build up arm strength in minors after time away from Twins to be with injured daughter

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Jason Marquis was away from Twins camp for two weeks to be with his family after his seven-year-old daughter was hospitalized following a bicycling accident.

He’s back with the team now–and she’s recovering well from significant injuries, thankfully–but because Marquis wasn’t able to stay on his usual throwing program to build up his pitch count the Twins will skip his turn in the rotation at least once.

In the meantime the 33-year-old veteran will be optioned to the minors, according to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who speculates that Marquis will make “a couple starts before rejoining the Twins.”

Marquis, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Twins as a free agent this offseason, will have a rotation spot waiting for him as soon as he gets stretched out.

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.