Brett Anderson cleared to begin rehab assignment Saturday

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From Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle comes word that A’s left-hander Brett Anderson made it through a 45-pitch simulated game on Monday without feeling any lingering discomfort in his elbow and has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment Saturday night at High-A Stockton.

Anderson underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery a little over one year ago. He’s likely to make between four and five rehab appearances before returning to Oakland’s starting rotation.

The 24-year-old has a 3.66 career ERA and 1.27 career WHIP in 62 major league outings, spanning 371 total innings. He is under contractual control with the Athletics through the 2015 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.