Rockies fire hitting coach Carney Lansford, third base coach Rich Dauer

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One day after Jim Tracy resigned as manager the Rockies announced that hitting coach Carney Lansford and third base coach Rich Dauer will not be brought back for 2013.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that no other coaching changes are forthcoming, although whoever is hired to replace Tracy will surely want to build his own coaching staff.

Lansford replaced Don Baylor as the Rockies’ hitting coach in 2011 and the team ranked second and third among NL teams in runs during his two seasons on the job, but that’s misleading because of Coors Field’s impact. On the road the Rockies ranked 28th and 30th in scoring among MLB teams. In other words, take Rockies hitters away from altitude and they were basically the worst in baseball under Lansford.

Of course, that was the same story with the offense under Baylor as well and shows why trying to figure out how to build a consistently strong pitching staff isn’t the only challenge presented by calling Coors Field home.

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.