The Phillies’ former batting practice pitcher is suing the team for defamation

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This is fun. At least if you’re not one of the parties to the lawsuit. Former Phillies’ batting practice pitcher Ali Modami is suing the Phillies and Ruben Amaro personally, saying that Amaro defamed him.

The upshot: Modami was fired, and when he tried to get jobs with the Dodgers and Nationals, he claims that Amaro told those teams that Modami was stealing equipment and memorabilia and selling it on the Internet. And that Modami was badmouthing the team.  The kicker:  Modami claims in his suit that Jayson Werth told him that Amaro was doing those things.

I don’t practice anymore, but I think I would love to depose Jayson Werth. I just have this feeling that he’d be the best/worst (depending on your point of view) witness in the history of depositions.

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.