Aramis Ramirez only out a few days with strained left knee

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Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was diagnosed with a left knee strain on Saturday after sliding too hard into the second base bag during a Cactus League game against the Angels. It was his first double of the spring and he was probably running too aggressively. But everything should be fine.

According to beat writer Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, initial tests have ruled out structural damage and Ramirez could be back in Cactus League games after “a few days” of rest.

“A slight strain right now is what they’re calling it,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told reporters on Saturday night. “When he slid into the bag, it was the impact. They checked it out and they don’t think there’s any damage. It’s day to day and that usually ends up being more than just a day.”

Ramirez, 34, hit .300/.360/.540 with 27 home runs and 105 RBI in 149 games last season.

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UPDATE, 10:55 AM: Todd Rosiak of the Journal-Sentinel reports that Ramirez was “limping noticeably” when he arrived back at the Brewers’ clubhouse on Sunday morning and has been sent for an MRI. “It doesn’t feel too good right now,” said the veteran third baseman, “but the good thing is it’s not swelling at all. It’s just sore.” The lack of swelling probably means that Ramirez has no major ligament damage.

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.