Ted Lilly is retiring

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Man, all that neck-nerve cauterization for nothing. Ouch:

Lilly was trying to prove he was healthy and effective down in Venezuela, but it apparently wasn’t going well. In the bigs he’s made just 13 starts over the last two seasons due to neck and shoulder injuries and posted a 5.09 ERA (71 ERA+) in 23 innings in 2013 for the Dodgers before being released.

For his career, Lilly finishes 130-113 with a 4.14 ERA in 1982.2 innings pitched across 15 seasons.

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.