Twins name Vance Worley as Opening Day starter

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Would-be Opening Day starter Scott Diamond is beginning the season on the disabled list with an elbow injury, so the Twins announced that Vance Worley will get the Game 1 assignment.

Worley, who was acquired from the Phillies along with prospect Trevor May in a trade for center fielder Ben Revere this offseason, has a 3.56 ERA in 46 career starts through age 24. And lucky him, he’ll match up with Justin Verlander and the Tigers in the opener.

Minnesota’s rotation will also include Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey, with Liam Hendriks and Cole DeVries expected to snag the final two spots. Last year Twins starters had the worst ERA in the league and it may not be a whole lot prettier this season.

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.