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Cubs, Addison Russell issue public statements on domestic violence allegations

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Earlier, we learned that Major League Baseball is investigating Cubs shortstop Addison Russell over allegations that he was physically abusive towards his wife. Both the Cubs and Russell issued public statements on Tuesday afternoon.

The Cubs’ statement, via Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic:

Last night, we were made aware of a serious claim posted on social media about Addison Russell. We reached out to Major League Baseball and, following the protocol established by MLB, will fully cooperate with the Commissioner’s Office as it gathers pertinent facts. Addison will not be in uniform tonight to allow him to work through this matter.

Russell’s statement, also via Sharma:

Any allegation I have abused my wife is false and hurtful. For the well-being of my family, I have no further comment.

Javier Baez is batting seventh and playing shortstop in Russell’s place for Thursday night’s game against the Rockies.

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.