Kurt Suzuki nearly ready to return to A's

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kurt suzuki headshot.jpgKurt Suzuki, who has been on the disabled list since April 24 with a strained rib cage, is expected to return to the A’s starting lineup on Wednesday, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Suzuki is a major part of the A’s offense and should provide a nice emotional boost for the 16-15 club upon his return.  Before rejoining his Oakland teammates, Kurt will likely head to Single-A Stockton or another minor league affiliate to work on his timing at the plate and reacquaint himself with crouching for nine full innings.  That should happen on Monday and Tuesday.

The 26-year-old catcher is a .271/.330/.403 hitter through his first three major league seasons.  He had an 852 OPS, four home runs and 11 RBI in 59 at-bats this year before the injury.

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.