Michael Phelps joined the Orioles for BP

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Michael Phelps joined the Baltimore Orioles for batting practice yesterday. I love that Buck Showalter gave him crap:

“It’s been a long time since I swung a bat,” Phelps said before walking into the cage.

A few minutes before he starting swinging, manager Buck Showalter came over to greet him and clearly had no sympathy for Phelps.

“I haven’t been in a pool for 30 years, but I’m not drowning,” Showalter joked.

Video below. Gonna go out on a limb and say that his swing is too long for him to be successful.

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.