Pablo Sandoval exited Venezuelan Winter League game with an injury

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CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly reports that Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval came up lame running out a grounder in the eighth inning of a Venezuelan Winter League game last night. Baggarly writes that it appears to be a “minor” injury, fortunately. He is back in the lineup tonight.

A recent report indicated that Sandoval has lost over 40 pounds this off-season as he enters his final season before free agency. Staying on the field had been an issue for Sandoval in previous years.

Sandoval’s injury was a footnote in what was an interesting game between Navegantes de Magallanes and Caribes de Anzoategui. Carlos Zambrano was part of a benches-clearing brawl and reportedly threw a few haymakers.

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.