Jake Peavy is humming along nicely

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In the two and a half seasons after being acquired in a blockbuster trade at the July 2009 deadline, Jake Peavy registered a 4.49 ERA in 238 2/3 innings with the White Sox, with ineffectiveness, injury and rust conspiring to deprive Chicago of the ace they thought they were getting.

Well, they have him now:  Peavy pitched a three-hitter against the A’s last night. That’s a nice progression for him, as in his first three starts he allowed three, then two, then one run.  If he keeps this up … NEGATIVE ERA!

OK, maybe not.  And it is worth nothing that while each of his starts has been progressively better, each of his opponents have had progressively worst offenses: Texas, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland.

But still, this has to be encouraging as all get-out for Chicago.

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.