Mariners shut down pitching prospect Michael Pineda

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The Mariners flirted with the idea of calling up top pitching prospect Michael Pineda multiple times this year to give him a taste of the major leagues in what has been a lost season in Seattle.  They never pulled the trigger, though, and now it definitely won’t happen.

According to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, the M’s decided Saturday to shut Pineda down for the rest of the season. 

The 21-year-old began this year with Double-A West Tennessee and turned in a gorgeous 2.22 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 13 starts.  He was then promoted to Triple-A Tacoma, where he kept rolling to the tune of a 1.14 WHIP and 76/16 K/BB ratio over 62.1 frames. 

The results have been fantastic at every level dating back to 2006 for Pineda but he’s thrown nearly 140 innings this year and registered only 47 total innings last season.

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik made it a point to note Saturday that Pineda is going to be in the mix for a major league rotation spot in 2011.

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.