Gold Glove finalists announced

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I stopped caring about the Gold Glove awards sometime between designated hitter Rafael Palmeiro winning one as a “first baseman” and Derek Jeter winning five as a “shortstop” but MLB has announced three (or four) finalists per league at each position and here they are:

(Note: Coaches and managers vote for the Gold Glove award and the winners will be announced tomorrow night.)

American League:
C – Alex Avila, Russell Martin, A.J. Pierzynski, Matt Wieters
1B – Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Teixeira, Eric Hosmer
2B – Dustin Ackley, Robinson Cano, Dustin Pedroia
3B – Adrian Beltre, Brandon Inge, Mike Moustakas
SS – Elvis Andrus, J.J. Hardy, Brendan Ryan
LF – Alex Gordon, Desmond Jennings, David Murphy
CF – Austin Jackson, Adam Jones, Mike Trout
RF – Shin-Soo Choo, Jeff Francoeur, Josh Reddick
P – Jeremy Hellickson, Jake Peavy, C.J. Wilson

National League:
C – Yadier Molina, Miguel Montero, Carlos Ruiz
1B – Freddie Freeman, Adam LaRoche, Joey Votto
2B – Darwin Barney, Aaron Hill, Brandon Phillips
3B – Chase Headley, Aramis Ramirez, David Wright
SS – Zack Cozart, Ian Desmond, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins
LF – Ryan Braun, Carlos Gonzalez, Martin Prado
CF – Michael Bourn, Andrew McCutchen, Drew Stubbs
RF – Jay Bruce, Andre Ethier, Jason Heyward
P – Bronson Arroyo, Mark Buehrle, Clayton Kershaw

Commence arguing, I guess.

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.