Bryce Harper out of Nationals lineup, diagnosed with bursitis in left knee

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After aggravating a knee injury sliding and noticeably limping throughout yesterday’s game Bryce Harper is out of the Nationals’ lineup today. He’s also expected to sit tomorrow.

Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that an MRI exam revealed no structural damage and Harper has been diagnosed with bursitis in his left knee.

According to Zuckerman if he feels better within the next 48 hours Harper could rejoin the lineup at designated hitter during an interleague series against the Orioles beginning Wednesday, allowing him to hit without having to play the outfield.

Harper injured his knee violently slamming into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium on May 13 and admitted last night that he’ll probably have to play through knee problems all 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.