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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: James Shields is back in the American League

James Shields, Chris Betts, and Jonny Venters in today's tank

Chicago White Sox v Tampa Bay Rays, Game 1
Shields pitching against the White Sox during the 2008 ALDS
Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images


Rays Links:

- Some have been asking about the status of Garrett Whitley and Chris Betts, Neil Solondz will have both of them today on his weekly "This Week in Rays Baseball"

- Topkin brings up five things the Rays need to do in order to turn their season around.

- Jonny Venters made his return to a professional pitching mound last night, with Lizzie providing reports that he was in the low 90's

- Steve Kinsella has more on the above over at Sports Talk Florida

- Nick Franklin, who has struggled for most of his Rays tenure, is riding a hot streak in Durham that may seem him receive one last chance with the Rays.

- Topkin looks back at the Rays draft history over the past 10 years and whether they should have drafted differently

- The Process Report examines how the Rays offense has performed after two months.

Around the League:

- One of the greatest players in franchise history, both in terms of on-and-off the field production, James Shields is heading back to the American League as the Padres have traded to him the Chicago White Sox.

- Mark Teixeira has been placed on the disabled list and now he may be out for the rest of the season

- MLB Daily Dish has a lot of draft coverage available here

- In an alternate history timeline, Tom Brady would have been greasing up baseballs instead of deflating footballs

- Marlon Byrd was recently suspended for a full 162 games due to failing another drug test, but there will always be more like him willing to cheat in order to receive higher paydays

- Five reasons to watch the College World Series