David Wright back in Mets’ lineup Thursday

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Mets third baseman David Wright hasn’t played since leaving Sunday’s game due to neck spasms, but he’s back in tonight’s starting lineup against the Braves.

In addition to his recent neck issue, Wright confirmed speculation this week that his left shoulder isn’t 100 percent. However, he doesn’t want to use it as an excuse for his lack of production this season and has no plans to shut things down early. Still, it’s logical to believe that injuries are behind his struggles as opposed to his skills simply collapsing overnight.

Wright is batting just .266 with eight homers and a career-low .692 OPS through 123 games this season. The 31-year-old hasn’t homered since July 11 and owns a .499 OPS in 145 plate appearances since the All-Star break.

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.