Lenny Dykstra pleads not guilty to 25 charges

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Lenny Dykstra pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles Monday in a federal case where he’s accused of embezzling money from a bankruptcy estate.

Federal prosecutors contend Dykstra sold or destroyed more than $400,000 worth of items from an $18.5 million mansion without permission of a bankruptcy trustee.

Dykstra appeared dazed in court, according to The Associated Press report.  When asked if he understood the charges against him, he replied, “I don’t understand it, but I understand them.”

The former Met and Phillie showed up with a new lawyer today, a deputy federal public defender.  His previous lawyer, Mark Werksman, declined to say why he no longer represented Dykstra. Financial issues would seem to be the obvious cause.

Dykstra is being held in Los Angeles County Jail after being charged with 25 misdemeanor and felony counts of grand theft auto, attempted grand theft auto, identity theft and other crimes. If convicted of all counts, he’d face a maximum of 80 years in prison. His trial is scheduled to begin on May 9.

The 48-year-old Dykstra is also facing charges in a different case after police found drugs such as cocaine and synthetic hGH at his home last month. He’s scheduled for an arraignment on those charges Thursday.

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.