Quote of the Day: 'Until I got humongous'

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David Ortiz, on playing defense for interleague games in NL parks:

I just feel so embarrassed when I do something wrong out there.
You’ve got a guy pitching his ass off out there and you just feel bad.
Nothing happened, but you feel like, “What the hell am I doing?” The
tough one is when you have to throw to the pitcher, because pitchers,
you know, they’re really not good fielders.

My mentality when I’m out there is like, “I’m a Gold Glover.” I was
pretty good at defense until I got humongous. I got to the big leagues
and I gained like 30 pounds, and we had [Doug] Mientkiewicz over there,
and he was a Gold Glover. Then I got here and we had like 20 first
basemen. Next thing I know I was DH-ing, and that’s it. People always
make a big deal about first basemen, but most of ’em stink, anyway.
They just hit.

Ortiz always struck me as a reasonably capable first baseman during his
time in Minnesota–surprisingly nimble, good at scooping low
throws–but as he notes that was quite a few pounds ago. Ultimate Zone
Rating pegs him as 1.9 runs below average over 880 innings at first
base since arriving in Boston in 2003, which is certainly far from
disastrous (although his recent UZR numbers are dreadful).

As for the above quote, he’s spot-on about everything except for gaining 30 pounds. I’ll take the over on that.

Braves sign David Hernandez

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Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.

Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dave Roberts: It “doesn’t make sense” for Scott Kazmir to start year in Dodgers’ rotation

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Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.

Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.

Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.