Marlins prospect Christian Yelich goes 3-for-4 with 2 RBI in MLB debut

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Looking to shake things up after a dreadful offensive dry spell, the Marlins promoted top prospect and outfielder Christian Yelich and immediately tossed him in the #2 spot in the lineup, along with fellow top prospect and outfielder Jake Marisnick, for tonight’s game against the Rockies. Yelich responded, getting three hits in his first three at-bats and driving in two key runs as the Marlins went on to defeat the Rockies 4-2.

The Marlins drafted Yelich in the first round, 23rd overall, in the 2010 amateur draft. He spent most of the season with Double-A Jacksonville, the first time in his career the 21-year-old had been above A-ball.

Marisnick, also making his Major League debut, went 0-for-4.

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.