Ben Sheets admits he’s a zombie

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After a series of injuries and surgeries that made everyone this side of Rich Harden say “damn!” Ben Sheets has been pretty effective since his comeback with the Braves began.  But he did get beat up on Sunday, and it was suggested that perhaps he had dead arm.

Dave O’Brien of the AJC reports, however, that it’s a far greater problem:

But Sheets said Tuesday he would characterize it more as “dead body” now that he’s six starts into his comeback after two years out of baseball following multiple elbow operations.

“My whole body felt dead,” Sheets said. “I was like ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ guy. I was like Bernie.”

Except there’s no lovely 1980s-era Catherine Mary Stewart to keep us interested in these proceedings.

Um, I may have said too much there. I’ll be back later. Gonna go watch “Night of the Comet” for the 500th time.

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.