Blue Jays players from the Dominican talk about PED use in the Dominican

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Interesting article from Richard Griffin, in which he talks to Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion about the alarming number of Dominican players who were involved in the Biogenesis mess and PED stuff in general.  Each of them talks about why that may be and what could be done about it.

I find it interesting in that they all don’t see the matter the same way. One talks about the clear incentives to escape poverty, but others talk about how baseball education and cultural stuff could be playing a part too.

No real grand takeaways here, but it’s neat to hear guys talking about the problem in rational Earth-bound terms rather than turning it into a morality play.

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.