Ike Davis opens up about his valley fever, or whatever it was, last year

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Last year Ike Davis was reported to have valley fever, a fungal infection which sapped his strength and led to him having a horrific start to the season. Of course he downplayed it all. His quote from last March:

“It’s been the same,” said Davis. “Seriously. I feel great. And I don’t have any symptoms of it. I’m not coughing. I’m not throwing up blood. I’m not doing anything. It’s not even hard to breathe. The doctor said I could play, and just don’t get really, really fatigued. So that’s what we’re doing. And if I get really tired, I kind of just step to the side and take a break … I don’t think I have an extreme case.”

Flash forward to today and he’s telling a different story. From Adam Rubin, who Davis now tells he was exhausted all the time last spring:

“I had to limit a lot of things last year as far as workload,” Davis said. “I didn’t have a beer all of spring training last year. I went home and laid on the couch. And I usually fish for another six hours every day [after Mets workouts] … I didn’t say anything to anybody, besides maybe the trainers.”

Guess that teaches us not to take players’ claims about their health at face value.

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.