A profile of Davey Johnson in today’s Baltimore Sun. Gotta love Davey, so it’s definitely worth a read.
Johnson, as you probably know, is now a special assistant to Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo. And unlike so many special assistant jobs out there, his isn’t about glad-handing season ticket holders and stuff — he’s actually contributing substantively. I can’t seem to find it right now, but a few weeks ago it was reported that Johnson is Ian Desmond’s primary champion in NatsLand, and has made it clear to everyone that the kid is too valuable to be used as a super-ute, which is what some have suggested. Whether he has the kind of juice to get Desmond made a starter is an open question, but it’s good that someone has the kid’s back.
I’d be curious to know what kind of input, if any, Johnson had on the Elijah Dukes release. Johnson is no stranger to, how shall I put it, challenging players, so you might expect that if anyone was going to defend the head case it would be him. Then again, maybe Johnson was a primary driver: “Dudes! I know head cases, and this guy is beyond the pale. 86-him!”
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.
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.