Scott Rice needs hernia surgery, out for the season

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Mets reliever Scott Rice leads the league with 73 appearances, but the left-hander won’t be pitching again this season following hernia surgery.

Rice is a good story, finally getting to the majors for the first time at age 31 after 14 seasons in the minors as a former first-round draft pick, and he’s been death to left-handed hitters by holding them to a .174 batting average and .468 OPS in 138 plate appearances.

He’s been awful against righties, allowing them to hit .362 with a .955 OPS, but 65 percent of Rice’s action has come versus lefties. He seems likely to have a spot in the Mets’ bullpen next season.

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.