Brett Lawrie having trouble with grip, likely out until August

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Bad news here for prospect lovers.

According to Shi Davidi of Canada’s Sportsnet, Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie is still having trouble gripping a bat in his once-fractured left hand and is not expected to resume playing in live minor league games until early August.

Lawrie was nearly called to the major leagues at the beginning of June, but he suffered a small fracture in his hand while playing for Triple-A Las Vegas and the promotion plans had to be scrapped. With the slow progress he’s made in his rehab, it’s feasible to wonder whether the Jays will hold off on adding the 21-year-old to the big league roster until late August or even September.

Lawrie was batting .354/.415/.677 with 15 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 52 games before the injury.

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.