Manny Machado has no ACL or MCL damage in his left knee, could begin running in 6-8 weeks

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Buck Showalter’s optimism about the status of Manny Machado’s left knee was not unfounded.

According to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles announced at a press conference on Tuesday evening at Camden Yards that Machado did not suffer any ACL or MCL damage when he tweaked his knee at first base on Monday afternoon in Tampa Bay. The young star has been diagnosed with a torn medial patella tendon ligament and could begin light running within the next 6-8 weeks. He does not need surgery and the hope is that he will be back to full health by the opening of spring training in 2014.

The 21-year-old former third-overall pick batted .283/.314/.432 with 14 home runs, 51 doubles and 71 RBI in 156 games this season for Baltimore.

He also had six stolen bases, scored 88 runs and played excellent defense at third base.

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.