When the Indians placed Jensen Lewis on outright waivers I figured at least one team would be willing to put in a claim on a cheap 27-year-old reliever with a 3.68 ERA in 198 career innings, but instead Lewis and his $650,000 salary have cleared waivers.
That means the Indians have successfully removed Lewis from the 40-man roster, but still keep him in the organization and have assigned him to Triple-A. Earlier this week the Twins tried something similar with Pat Neshek, but the Padres claimed him.
In four seasons in the big leagues Lewis has ERAs of 2.15, 3.82, 4.61, and 2.97, so he’s obviously an MLB-caliber reliever, but his velocity has reportedly been down this spring and the Indians have shipped him to the minors before despite his overall success. Getting back to the majors will be tougher this time, because now to call up Lewis they’ll likely have to bump someone else off the 40-man roster.
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.
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.