Cardinals prospect Shelby Miller struggling with Shannon Stone’s death

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Shelby Miller, the Cardinals’ No. 1 pitching prospect, had more on his mind last week than getting ready to pitch in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game.  His father was a fellow firefighter and a good friend of Shannon Stone, who passed away Thursday night after tumbling over a railing at Rangers Ballpark, and he got the news after Thursday’s game.

“He was an awesome guy,” Miller said. “He was at my game in Frisco and just really a good person.

“Having it happen to him is just tough.”

Mitch Miller and Stone worked together for more than a decade in Brownwood, Texas, and Shelby said both of his parents would attend Monday’s funeral.

“I can’t weep over it or do anything that’s going to keep me from performing well or something like that,” he said after pitching Sunday night. “It’s definitely in the back of your mind. You think about it, and then you get down, and then you just try to forget about it and it’s not easy. It’s something I’m going to have to get through, me and my family are going to have to get through and the Stones are going to have to get through.”

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.