Nelson Cruz expects hamstring to be fine for Game 6

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As noted in our handy little ALCS Game 5 Live Blog, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz was pulled from Wednesday’s game because of tightness in his left hamstring — the same hamstring that forced him to the disabled list twice this year.  He landed on the disabled list a third time with right hamstring problems.

For now, it appears the slugger will be fine for the rest of the postseason.

Cruz told MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez after Wednesday’s loss that he was pulled for precautionary reasons and that he should be good to go by Game 6 on Friday.

The 30-year-old is batting .378/.410/.838 with four home runs and five doubles over 37 at-bats in these 2010 playoffs.  He is a monster at the plate and will play a crucial role in what will either be a horrible collapse or a joyous celebration in this ALCS with New York.  The Rangers, as a franchise, have never been to the World Series and have only been to the playoffs four times since 1961.

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.