Pirates place James McDonald on the disabled list

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James McDonald has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start and placed on the disabled list with what the Pirates are calling shoulder discomfort. Jeanmar Gomez will take McDonald’s spot against the Mariners.

McDonald has struggled all season, posting a 5.76 ERA with a league-high 20 walks in six starts, but previously insisted that he was fine physically.

McDonald also struggled down the stretch last season, following up an impressive first half of a 9-3 record and 2.37 ERA with a 7.52 ERA after the All-Star break. Dating back to last year he’s allowed 78 runs in his last 91 innings.

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.