Dexter Fowler sent home “indefinitely” with gastroenteritis

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From beat writer Evan Drellich at the Houston Chronicle:

The Astros center fielder was hospitalized for Friday night before he was released Saturday because of gastroenteritis. The plan was to have him report to Minute Maid Park on Sunday, even if he couldn’t play right away.

Fowler instead will remain at home indefinitely, and it’s unclear if he will be on the trip to Toronto, where the Astros start a three-game series with the Blue Jays on Tuesday.

Gastroenteritis is a stomach infection that carries flu-like symptoms. It’s not serious, but the Astros want to be careful.

“He’s at home resting, and the doctor wanted him to continue to rest,” manager Bo Porter told the Houston media before Sunday afternoon’s game against the Angels. “I’m not going to speak to (whether Fowler goes to Toronto). You don’t know — when you start talking about … a virus running through your body, that takes time. We don’t know how much longer it’s going to be, we just know that the doctors are treating him.”

Fowler was off to a scorching start for his new team, boasting four extra-base hits in three games.

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.