Brandon Beachy ready to resume minor league rehab assignment

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The Braves slowed down Brandon Beachy’s rehab after he felt some tenderness in his surgically-repaired right elbow last month, but he has been cleared to return to game action.

David O’Brien of Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Beachy will resume his minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Triple-A Gwinnett. The 26-year-old is expected to throw 45-55 pitches and/or three innings and figures to make at least one or two more starts before being reevaluated.

Beachy, who is currently making his way back from Tommy John surgery last June, has a 3.07 ERA over 41 starts in the majors. There’s no obvious opening for him in Atlanta’s starting rotation right now, but depth is a nice problem to have.

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.