Gavin Floyd returns from disabled list for tonight’s start

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Out since July 7 with a sore elbow, Gavin Floyd is back from the disabled list and will start tonight versus Minnesota.

Floyd has struggled against the Twins throughout his career, going 5-11 with a 5.87 ERA in 17 starts, and that includes 1-7 with an 8.06 ERA since 2010.

Prior to the injury Floyd was showing signs of getting back on track following a terrible first half, throwing shutout ball in three of his previous four starts, so tonight’s outing is an important one.

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.