Jose Fernandez named Marlins’ Opening Day starter

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Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald is reporting that Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez has been named the team’s Opening Day starter by manager Mike Redmond, an announcement that shocks no one. The Marlins open up the regular season on March 31 at home against the Rockies.

Fernandez took home NL Rookie of the Year honors and finished third in NL Cy Young balloting last season after posting a 2.19 ERA in 172 2/3 innings. The 21-year-old Cuban should be the ace of the Marlins’ staff for many more years to come.

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.