Oscar Taveras needs season-ending ankle surgery

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From Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes word that top prospect Oscar Taveras will undergo season-ending surgery next week to help the healing of his high right ankle sprain — an injury that has been bothering Taveras since May 12.

Taveras was supposed to light it up at Triple-A Memphis this season and then make his major league debut by the middle of the summer, but he injured his ankle on a hard slide into second base in his 31st game with the Memphis Rebirds and has experienced setback after setback with his rehab.

The 21-year-old Dominican outfielder wound up batting .306/.341/.462 with five home runs, five stolen bases and 32 RBI in a total of 46 games this season in the Pacific Coast League. He hit .321/.380/.572 with 23 home runs, 10 stolen bases and 94 RBI in 124 games last year at Double-A Springfield.

The Cardinals fully expect Taveras to be ready for the beginning of spring training next February in Jupiter, Florida and he could be the starting center fielder in St. Louis on Opening Day 2014.

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.