Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez making progress

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Good news here for the AL East-leading Yankees.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that third baseman Alex Rodriguez underwent a checkup X-ray on his left hand Thursday and told reporters Sunday that everything looked “A-OK.”

“Waiting now, just have to wait it out,” A-Rod said. “There’s nothing I can do but wait it out now.”

If all continues to go smoothly with his rehabilitation, Rodriguez should be back on the Yankees’ active roster near the end of August. He fractured the fifth metacarpal in his left hand when he was hit by a pitch in late July.

Veteran left-hander Andy Pettitte is also making steady progress. He’s now riding a stationary bike, doing pool workouts and throwing lightly in a cage without feeling any lingering discomfort in his once-fractured left ankle. The 40-year-old is aiming to return to the Bombers’ rotation at some point in September.

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.