Nationals place Ryan Zimmerman on DL, promote Anthony Rendon

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The Nationals placed third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on the disabled list with a sore left hamstring. In response, they have recalled prospect Anthony Rendon from Double-A Harrisburg, reports Adam Kilgore.

Zimmerman had been struggling at the plate, managing a paltry .670 OPS with just one home run. He also appeared to have issues throwing, perhaps related to the shoulder problems that bothered him last year and during spring training prior to the 2013 regular season getting under way.

In 65 plate appearances over 14 games in Double-A, Rendon posted a .962 OPS with two homers and an impressive 14-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The 22-year-old, who will start according to manager Davey Johnson, was ranked as the 19th-best prospect going into 2012 and the 30th-best heading into this season, according to Baseball America.

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.