Mike Moustakas is in The Best Shape of His Life

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Provisionally anyway. No actual declaration by Moustakas, but he is a strong candidate for BSHOL status during spring training:

Of course, the entire enterprise of BSHOL watches we’ve undertaken here at HBT may be working against us. Because now the reporters of BSOHL status are wary of stepping into cliche, and may thus be underselling what used to be unequivocal BSHOL declarations:

 

Better to be a victim of one’s own success, of course, than to never have had success at all. That is, if you consider coming up with a silly winter time waster like BSOHL stuff a form of “success.”

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.