Mariano Rivera throws 25 pitches off a mound

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… for a commercial:

Rivera climbed back atop a mound for the first time since his season-ending injury. His tosses were part of a commercial shoot, during which he gleefully destroyed a wooden camera shield.

“I’m feeling good,” said Rivera, who made about 25 throws on the Hackley School’s snow-covered diamond. “The rehab has been great; it’s been tough, but at the same time, I’m seeing good results. I can’t wait to continue and stay 100 percent. A day at a time, like I always tell you guys. A day at a time.”

No comment in the article from anyone with the Yankees opining on how cool it was that their future Hall of Famer closer’s first work off a mound since his injury was on a “snow-covered diamond.” But I assume they knew about it.

They did know about it, right?

 

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.