Cardinals' Brad Penny out at least another month

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penny throwing big.jpgThe Cardinals have finally established a timetable for Brad Penny’s return from a lat strain, and it’s not exactly great news.  According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the veteran starter is expected to miss at least the next four-to-six weeks.

Penny was placed on the 15-day disabled list back in late May after opening the season with an impressive 3.23 ERA, 35/9 K/BB ratio and 1.29 WHIP through his first nine starts in a Cardinals uniform.  P.J. Walters and Adam Ottavino have done well in his absence, but that probably won’t last long.  And it appears that Kyle Lohse could be out all year.

Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and rookie lefty Jaime Garcia have been spectacular through the first two months of the regular season and the Cards have the luxury of playing in one of baseball’s weaker divisions.  But the Reds are right on their tail and now have a healthy Joey Votto.  Things should be interesting for at least the next month in the National League Central.

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.