Matt Harrison is rejoining the Rangers’ rotation

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Matt Harrison will come off the disabled list and start Sunday for the Rangers, seeing his first big-league game action in more than a year following multiple back surgeries and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Harrison threw eight shutout innings in a minor-league rehab start Saturday at Double-A, striking out five and walking one while allowing three hits. He’ll return against the Mariners, in Seattle, which is a fairly friendly matchup.

Prior to an injury wrecked 2013 season Harrison made the All-Star team in 2012 on the way to throwing 213 innings with a 3.29 ERA. And even without Harrison and several other key injured players the Rangers are off to a 13-8 start.

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.