Geoff Blum expected to miss 4-8 weeks with torn oblique

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Geoff Blum was placed on the disabled list Wednesday after injuring his oblique muscle taking batting practice won’t be returning to the Diamondbacks any time soon.

Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that Blum has been diagnosed with a torn oblique and expects to be sidelined for 4-8 weeks.

Blum, who missed 127 games with injuries last season, described feeling his oblique “pop and tear” mid-swing and at age 38 being out longer than the initial timetable wouldn’t surprise anyone. Arizona will have to make do with only Willie Bloomquist and John McDonald as light-hitting utility men for a while.

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.