Recovering from wrist surgery, Carl Crawford now also has a sore elbow

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Carl Crawford’s ongoing comeback from wrist surgery became a bit more complicated yesterday when the left fielder traveled to Boston to have his sore left elbow examined by doctors.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Crawford had been close to playing in extended spring training games before the elbow problems arrived, but adds that “the issue is believed to be minor” and “the remedy could be as simple as cutting back on throwing for a few days.”

Either way, his return will be delayed further. Bobby Valentine has said all along that Crawford will need around 50 at-bats of game action before the Red Sox would consider activating him from the disabled list, so he’s not close to being in Boston’s lineup.

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.