Nationals activate Stephen Strasburg from the disabled list

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From beat writer James Wagner of the Washington Post comes word that the Nationals have, as scheduled, activated ace right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the 15-day disabled list. Strasburg will return to the Nats’ starting rotation on Sunday afternoon to face the Indians after sitting out the past two-plus weeks due to a mild (Grade 1) lat strain.

Strasburg owns a cool 2.54 ERA and 1.06 WHIP through 12 starts this season. The 24-year-old has fanned a total of 73 batters in 74 1/3 innings.

Washington enters play Sunday with a 34-33 record, good for second place in the National League East.

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.