Gerald Laird sets new high with six-game hitting streak

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Tigers catcher Gerald Laird went 2-for-5 in Wednesday’s 12-inning loss to the Royals, extending his hitting streak to a career-high six games.
The huge day, which included a double for his 11th extra-base hit in 237 at-bats this season, raised his average to .203. It’s the first time all season that he’s finished a game with an average over the Mendoza Line.
Before this week, Laird had hit in five straight games just once before, that happening in May 2008. Once a reasonably productive catcher, Laird hit .296 and slugged .473 in 243 at-bats for the Rangers in 2006. Even two years ago, he came in at .276/.329/.398 in 344 at-bats for Texas.
Laird, though, was pretty brutal in his first year as the Tigers’ starting catcher in 2009 and he fell completely off the map this year. At 537, he has the worst OPS of any major leaguer with at least 250 plate appearances this season.

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.