Ruben Amaro: The Phillies may be sellers come July

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Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com spoke with Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, and he ripped his team at length, and didn’t spare either himself or Charlie Manuel in the criticism. Then he said, if things don’t go well in the next two months, he may blow it up:

“We just have to get on track. But if July comes and we’re playing like this, we’ll be sellers. How we play now will determine whether we’ll be buyers or sellers in July.”

No, I wouldn’t expect a tear-down or anything.  But it’s not like the Phillies have a ton of financial space to improve the team either.

It hasn’t been this bad in Philly in over five years, folks.

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.