Josh Hamilton opens Angels career 1-for-20 with 10 strikeouts

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It’s obviously way too early to panic, but Josh Hamilton’s Angels career is off to a slow start.

The $133 million man went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Saturday and is now 1-for-20 with 10 strikeouts through the first five games of Anaheim’s regular-season schedule. The Rangers, intimately familiar with Hamilton’s random offensive funks, gave Albert Pujols three intentional passes Saturday. Which contributed to Hamilton stranding six baserunners.

The Angels won Saturday’s game in Texas by a score of 8-4 because the rest of the lineup managed 12 hits and eight runs, and because starter Tommy Hanson pitched six solid innings. They’re now 2-3 on the year.

Hamilton batted .395/.438/.744 with nine homers in his first 96 plate appearances last season.

Through 23 plate appearances this season the 31-year-old outfielder is hitting .050/.208/.050.

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.