Forget it: Ryan Zimmerman is not learning to play left field

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Yesterday Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post noted that Ryan Zimmerman was shagging balls in left field. The Nats coaches he spoke to were cagey about it all, and Kilgore wrote a story speculating how Zimmerman might fit into left for the Nats when he returns and after Bryce Harper returns.

That was fun, but today Zimmerman put the kibosh on it:

Oh well. I would’ve liked to see Bryce Harper playing center to Zimmerman in left. And them doing the old hook-and-ladder play when someone hit one to left and it had to be fired home. But apparently that’s not in the cards.

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.