Jon Lester insists extra rest afforded him was precautionary

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Red Sox starter Jon Lester reiterated to reporters earlier that the team’s decision to have him make his second-half debut on Tuesday was simply precautionary rather than due to an injury. After a strong start to the season, Lester has hit the skids, posting a 6.27 ERA in his last 11 starts.

Lester threw a 35-pitch bullpen today, then spoke to the media about the extra rest afforded him. Via WEEI’s Alex Speier:

“We have the opportunity to do it, so, sitting down and talking about it, we felt like it was a good time. We moved it to Tuesday, and everything’s fine,” said Lester. “Just getting ready for Tuesday. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing crazy. Just kind of a normal day in the life of me.”

Lester also refused to blame his struggles on any kind of injury. The lefty will oppose Roberto Hernandez of the Rays on Tuesday.

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.