Joe Mauer not progressing from concussion as hoped

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Joe Mauer admitted Thursday that he’s still experiencing concussion symptoms during workouts, leaving him without a timetable for a return to the Twins lineup.

Mauer ramped up his workouts in recent days, taking batting practice and lifting weights, but that’s when the symptoms returned, he told the Star-Tribune’s LaVelle E. Neal III.

Given that the Twins have so little to gain by bringing Mauer back, the possibility exists that he won’t return this season, and even if he does make it back, he probably won’t do any catching. According to Neal, Mauer remains determined to play in 2013.

Mauer was hitting .324/.404/.476 when he suffered his concussion in a game against the Mets on Aug. 19.

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.