Dan Haren has turned his season around for the Nationals

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It’s probably too late to do the Nationals much good, but Dan Haren has turned his season around in a big way following a miserable start.

Haren signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Nationals after the Angels declined his $15.5 million option, buying him out for $3.5 million instead. He was coming off multiple injuries and needed to re-establish his value, but through the end of June he was 4-9 with a 6.15 ERA and league-high 19 homers allowed. Then he spent two weeks on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

And he’s been fantastic since coming off the DL. Haren tossed six innings of one-run ball against the Cubs last night, giving him a 2.16 ERA and 50/10 K/BB ratio in 50 innings since early July. He’s allowed just four homers in eight starts during that span while holding opponents to a sub-.200 batting average.

Haren’s season totals may not end up looking particularly impressive because of the rough start, but if he can keep pitching like this for the final six weeks he’ll be in line for a nice payday as a 33-year-old free agent. And that possibility was no doubt a big part of why he signed a one-year deal.

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.