Bum wheel hurting Giles in fight for bench job

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After just one week of spring training Brian Giles told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that his oft-injured right knee hasn’t responded as well he’d like:

Not as much as I’d like at this point. It’s just okay. Obviously, I’ll give it a few more days. It’s not where I want it to be. I’ll see if it gets better with more conditioning and how that changes it.

As a general rule of thumb 39-year-old players with chronic injuries that are still hurting after an offseason to rest tend not to get a whole lot healthier with “a few more days.”
Giles was already competing with 36-year-old Doug Mientkiewicz to be a left-handed bench bat for the Dodgers and now 38-year-old Garret Anderson has joined the elderly mix after signing a minor-league deal yesterday. Giles and Anderson are obviously bigger names than Mientkiewicz (although not literally, because few are literally bigger names than “Mienkiewicz”), but at this point they’re also no sure thing to be any better offensively and offer significantly less defensive ability or versatility.

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.