Coco Crisp suffers strained neck after crashing into outfield fence

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As I noted earlier, Angels catcher Chris Iannetta hit a two-run homer last night despite a fantastic effort from Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp, who actually had the ball in his glove for a beat before it was jarred loose on his collision with the outfield fence.

Crisp hit the ground hard after his leap and was down for a few minutes before leaving the game with a strained neck. That’s the very same issue that has bothered him at various times this season. According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, the A’s are calling him day-to-day.

“He doesn’t feel as bad as the last time right now,” said manager Bob Melvin after the Angels’ 4-0 victory. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”

Here’s the video of the play:

Ouch. The A’s are reeling a bit right now and are already without Sean Doolittle, Jed Lowrie, and John Jaso, so the last thing they need is an extended absence from their starting center fielder and leadoff man.

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.