Two minor leaguers suspended for drugs

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From the blotter:

Free agent Minor League right-handed pitchers Manuel Montilla and Euris Quezada have each received 50-game suspensions without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol.  The suspensions of Montilla and Quezada will be effective immediately upon their signing with another Major League organization.

As of the end of March first time suspensions are ratcheted up to 80 games, so I presume this means that these tests were administered before then.

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.