National League Central soccer jerseys

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A couple weeks ago I linked to designer Mark Willis’ hypothetical soccer-style jerseys for American League East teams, which were really cool-looking.

And the response was so positive that Willis has decided to create jersey designs for the rest of the MLB teams too, beginning with the National League Central teams today.

His version of a Yadier Molina Cardinals jersey is shown to the right and you should definitely check out his blog for the other designs and his explanations.

Good stuff.

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.