David Ross recovered from concussion, ready to begin minor league rehab assignment

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The Red Sox signed David Ross to a two-year, $6.2 million contract over the winter in hopes that he would share catching duties with Jarrod Saltalamacchia this season, but he has been limited to just 23 games due to a pair of concussions. However, it sounds like he could be back for the stretch run.

According to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com, Ross will begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Double-A Portland. The 36-year-old hasn’t played since June 14, but he was cleared to return to game action after going for a check-up with concussion specialist Michael Collins on Thursday. He’s expected to move up to Triple-A Pawtucket next week and should be activated around the time he’s eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on August 17.

This has been a lost season for Ross so far, but he could provide a nice boost to Boston’s lineup if he’s back to 100 percent. He compiled an .816 OPS from 2009-2012 with the Braves and was a real weapon against left-handed pitching.

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.