Mariners third base coach steps down after hernia surgery

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Mariners third base coach John Stearns was expected to miss the early part of the season after undergoing hiatal hernia surgery last week, but instead he’s decided to step down from the job altogether.

Stearns explained that he felt it would be unfair to the players and coaching staff to reclaim the position in mid-April (or later) after not participating in spring training.

Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that Triple-A manager Rich Donnelly will be promoted to replace Stearns on a full-time basis and when Stearns is healthy enough to work again he’ll be reassigned to a position within the organization as a scout. And in the meantime the Mariners will go looking for a new Triple-A manager.

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.