Ryan Zimmerman undergoing MRI on throwing shoulder

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Ryan Zimmerman hasn’t played since Friday because of soreness in his right shoulder. And there’s a chance his absence could last far longer.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Zimmerman is scheduled to have an MRI Tuesday night on his ailing throwing shoulder, with Nationals manager Davey Johnson fearing that the 27-year-old third baseman has suffered a muscle tear.

Zimmerman can field and make throws without pain, but he feels discomfort when swinging a bat.

The $100 million man has posted a .224/.324/.345 batting line, one home run and seven RBI in 15 games this season. Steve Lombardozzi started at third base in Tuesday’s series-opener against the Padres.

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.