This year, the Pirates are all about finishing what they start.
According to The Associated Press, the team ordered dozens of black-and-yellow shirts with the phrase “finish” to remind the Pirates about the importance of mental toughness.
The Pirates, of course, had a pretty nice first half last year before fading fast and finishing 72-90. They were 51-44 through 95 games and 21-46 the rest of the way.
The article continues:
[Manager Clint] Hurdle believes the team will be focused following the lessons of August and September. The addition of veterans Rod Barajas, Clint Barmes and Casey McGehee – all veterans of postseason play – should give the young clubhouse a calming presence.
Those veterans of postseason play have combined to go all of 4-for-28 in October. Barmes has half of those at-bats and went hitless in all 14. Barajas’ last postseason appearance came 10 years ago.
But they will be calming, for sure. Not a one of them ever figures to be responsible for A.J. Burnett whipping up a shaving cream pie this year.
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.