Michael Wacha’s MRI was encouraging

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Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an MRI and CT scan taken Monday on Michael Wacha’s injured right shoulder showed encouraging results. He says that the Cardinals will be able to begin a throwing program in two weeks and that he could be pitching in games that matter in September.

Wacha was shut down in late June due to a stress reaction to the scapula bone in his throwing shoulder. He’s 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA on the season.

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.