Dustin Pedroia to have thumb surgery November 12

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Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston reports that Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb next Tuesday (November 12). The thumb surgery was fully expected, but the exact design of the operation could be a surprise:

“I guess because I played with [the injury] the whole year, it’s made it a little tougher,” Pedroia explained Tuesday. “If they do the normal surgery, there has to be some good endings [of the ligament] to re-attach it. If there’s not, we have to do it a different way.”

That “different way” would involve the extraction of a wrist tendon, which would then be used to re-attach the torn ligament in his left thumb. But the expectation remains that Pedroia will be ready for the start of Red Sox spring training next February in Fort Myers, Florida. “They made it seem like it’s no big deal,” Pedroia told ESPN Boston. “It may cost me an extra couple of weeks longer to recover, that’s all.”

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.