American League picks Max Scherzer for All-Star start

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As expected the American League announced that Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer will start the All-Star game tomorrow night, matching up against Mets right-hander Matt Harvey.

Scherzer’s winning streak came to an end in his final first-half start, but he’s 13-1 with a 3.19 ERA and 152/31 K/BB ratio in 130 innings. If not for the impressive win total (and Jim Leyland doing the choosing) it’s possible that Scherzer would not have gotten the assignment, as he ranks ninth in the AL in ERA. Of course, regardless of how you feel about evaluating pitchers on win-loss records he’s been really, really good for the Tigers.

This is Scherzer’s first All-Star game and dating back to mid-June of last season he’s 24-4 with a 2.88 ERA and 295 strikeouts in 247 innings spread over 38 starts.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.