Troy Tulowitzki lands on DL with groin strain

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The Rockies, currently 11 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West, will have to go it without their All-Star shortstop for the next couple of weeks, as Troy Tulowitzki was placed on the DL Thursday due to a strained left groin.

Tulo had just been warming up at the plate, hitting four homers during a current nine-game hitting streak. His OPS had jumped from .741 to .846 during the span. He’d had also cut way back on the errors after a stunning early season binge.

With Tulowitzki out, the Rockies are expected to shift Marco Scutaro over to shortstop, putting Chris Nelson, who is coming off the DL after missing time with an inflamed wrist, and D.J. LeMahieu at second base. It doesn’t sound like the Rockies have any intention of putting Eric Young Jr. back there. Young spent most of his minor league career at second, but he’s been used exclusively in the outfield this season.

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.