Andy Pettitte expects to return vs. O's next Sunday

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Andy Pettitte is scheduled to make his final rehab start with Double-A Scranton on Tuesday, according to Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger. If all goes well, he will return from the disabled list next Sunday against the Orioles.

“I feel like I’m a healthy player and I’m good to go.”

Pettitte tossed four scoreless innings Thursday in his first minor league rehab start with the Thunder. The 38-year-old left-hander is 11-2 with a 2.88 ERA and 90/38 K/BB ratio over 18 starts this season. He has been sidelined since July 19 due to a strained right groin.

Assuming he returns as expected next Sunday, there should be enough time for him to get three starts leading into the postseason. A healthy and effective Pettitte will go a long way towards deciding their fate in October.

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.