Jeremy Hefner to undergo Tommy John surgery

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While this won’t have the wide-ranging ramifications of Matt Harvey’s partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that Jeremy Hefner will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Hefner was diagnosed with a partially-torn medial collateral ligament in his elbow earlier this month. Tommy John surgery was discussed as a possibility at the time, but he was waiting to see Dr. James Andrews before deciding on a course of action. However, it’s now clear that he’ll be sidelined for most or all of the 2014 season, further challenging the team’s pitching depth.

Hefner did a respectable job in the Mets’ rotation this season, posting a 4.34 ERA and 99/37 K/BB ratio over 130 2/3 innings.

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.