Michael Young takes bereavement leave from Phillies

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Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have placed third baseman Michael Young on the bereavement list, which allows players to be away from a team for 3-7 days.

To replace Young on the active roster the Phillies called up Cesar Hernandez, a 23-year-old middle infielder who’ll be making his MLB debut after spending seven seasons in the minors. Hernandez was hitting .308 at Triple-A and is a career .292 hitter, but has very little power or plate discipline.

Young has struggled in his first season away from Texas, hitting just .254 with a .700 OPS in 51 games while grounding into a league-high 12 double plays.

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.