Bryce Harper goes 2-for-4 with a steal in Triple-A debut

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Bryce Harper made his Triple-A debut yesterday–more than six months shy of his 20th birthday–and went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.

Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post notes that Harper’s arrival at Triple-A generated nowhere near the hype of Stephen Strasburg reaching the minors’ highest level in 2010, as Syracuse’s ballpark “was less than half-full … with only a small media contingent on hand.”

Harper admitted afterward that he tried “to do way too much” while in Nationals camp and “getting sent down made me calm down and stay within myself.”

Now we’ll see how long he stays down.

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.