Wei-Yin Chen likely headed to the disabled list

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Wei-Yin Chen left yesterday’s start with an oblique injury and Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com reports that the Orioles left-hander is expected to be placed on the disabled list.

As usual Chen and the Orioles initially hoped he would only be sidelined for a few days, but almost no player avoids the DL with an oblique strain.

Baltimore already has Miguel Gonzalez on the DL, so Steve Johnson or Jair Jurrjens are the likely fill-in candidates for Chen, who has pitched very well with a 3.04 ERA through 47 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.