Giants hand NLCS Game 2 nod to Jonathan Sanchez

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We now have Championship Series rotations for three of the four involved teams.  Phillies manager Charlie Manuel refused to name Roy Halladay as his Game 1 starter Monday, but that should change by Thursday morning.

The Yankees’ ALCS rotation is HERE.  And the Rangers’ can be found HERE.

The Giants, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, announced their NLCS pitchers late Wednesday evening.

Tim Lincecum is the no-brainer pick for Game 1 at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.  He delivered one of the most dominant postseason performances of all time in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, striking out 14 batters while allowing only two hits over a complete-game shutout.  The 26-year-old didn’t have the greatest regular season, but he’s capable of handling any lineup on any night in any ballpark.

Jonathan Sanchez will take on the Phillies in Game 2.  The 27-year-old took a no-hitter into the sixth inning during his lone NLDS start against Atlanta and was brilliant throughout the regular season.  Matt Cain drew the Game 2 start last series but Sanchez has missed more bats this year and is the better fit for the tiny confines in Philadelphia.

Cain will go in Game 3, and might be followed in Game 4 by 21-year-old Madison Bumgarner.

The Giants easily have the weakest lineup of the four teams remaining, but their starting rotation is as dangerous as any.  The Phillies weren’t exactly explosive at the plate in the first round.

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.