Josh Hamilton to resume baseball activities, may be ahead of schedule

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Josh Hamilton took one-handed swings yesterday and is expected to resume baseball activities next week. That is, unless you consider one-handed swings to be baseball activities. That may stretch the definition — one-handed swings are pretty boss, but they’re not that useful in games — so let’s just go with the official line here.

Hamilton underwent surgery earlier this month to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and is in a splint now instead of a cast. His recovery has appeared to be uneventful and he may be back ahead of schedule.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.