Yordano Ventura feels healthy enough to start Thursday

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Yordano Ventura is scheduled to start Thursday against the Cardinals, which means the Royals were (thankfully) right about the flamethrowing right-hander missing just one or two starts with “lateral elbow discomfort.”

Ventura exited his May 26 start in the third inning with elbow soreness, causing lots of people to panic that he’d be the latest young stud pitcher to need Tommy John surgery, but instead he’s been able to avoid the disabled list.

That doesn’t mean Ventura is out of the woods yet, of course, and certainly all eyes will be on the 23-year-old right-hander the next few times he takes the mound. Still, in a season full of high-upside young arms going under the knife it’s nice to see one of the highest-upside guys around get some positive news.

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Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.

Yankees activate Didi Gregorius from the disabled list

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The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.

Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.

Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.