Scott Rolen has already missed five weeks following shoulder surgery that was initially expected to sideline him 4-6 weeks, but the third baseman with a lengthy history of shoulder problems said yesterday that he remains hopeful about playing again this season.
Rolen spent the weekend fielding ground balls and taking swings in the batting cage, telling Jeff Wallner of MLB.com that he’s “close to getting back on the field” and “not too far away.”
He hit just .242 with five homers and a .676 OPS in 65 games before the surgery, but Rolen explained that going under the knife has strengthened his shoulder. Because the Triple-A seasons ends later this week a rehab assignment may not be an option by the time Rolen is ready for game action and he hasn’t faced live pitching since July 20.
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.