Despite shoulder issue, Clay Buchholz will start Game 4

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The Red Sox will go with starter Clay Buchholz in Game 4 of the World Series, reports USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale on Twitter. Some were concerned that Buchholz, dealing with tightness in his right shoulder, would have to be skipped in the rotation, but that won’t be the case.

According to Brooks Baseball, Buchholz showed significantly diminished velocity on his fastball in his last start. Buchholz most recently pitched in the final game of the ALCS against the Tigers, going five innings and allowing two runs. In his prior two starts of the 2013 post-season, he allowed eight runs in 11.2 innings, including three home runs.

Buchholz dealt with bursitis in his right shoulder during the regular season, keeping him out for three months between June 9 and September 9. Before the injury, he was having a Cy Young caliber season, going on the disabled list with a 1.71 ERA in 12 starts.

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.