Rockies designate Eric Young Jr. for assignment

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After four years of using Eric Young Jr. as a key role player the Rockies designated the 28-year-old for assignment.

Young is extremely fast, switch-hits, and has lots of defensive versatility, but he’s hit just .261 with a .671 OPS in 313 career games and is a .211 career hitter away from Coors Field.

There’s seemingly a decent chance the Rockies can find a taker for Young via trade and if not he’s probably a pretty good bet to get claimed off waivers, if only because the ability to play second base and all three outfield spots while running really fast makes for a solid enough bench option.

Young’s dad, longtime big leaguer Eric Young Sr., works for the Astros as a television analyst and Houston would have one of the first cracks at him on the waiver wire …

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.