Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Grady Sizemore is making progress

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I am hesitant to even mention this because every time I say something positive about Grady Sizemore he falls off a cliff, gets hit by a bus or spontaneously combusts, but I’ll say it anyway: he’s making progress in his back/knee rehab and the Indians sound guardedly optimistic.

As Paul Hoynes reports, Sizemore was at Progressive Field, with the club for the first time since his March 1 surgery and had a light workout. On the treadmill at 90 percent and some tossing in the outfield.

There’s still no timetable for his return, but the team still believes he’ll play the “bulk of the season.”

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.