Heyward held off base for first time this spring

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heyward sunglasses.JPGBraves phenom Jason Heyward failed to register a hit or walk for the first time this spring during Saturday’s 7-6 exhibition loss to the Blue Jays.

According to Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, who has apparently nicknamed the kid “J-Hey,” it’s the first time the 20-year-old has been held off the basepaths since the Grapefruit League schedule got underway in early March.

Heyward finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the contest, snapping a nine-game hitting streak and dropping his Grapefruit League batting average slightly to .387.  He now stands 12-for-31 this spring with four doubles, a home run and nine walks, and has struck out only five times.  The Braves haven’t made anything official yet, but it’s safe to say Heyward is more than ready to take over the club’s starting right field gig.

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.