Strained oblique muscle sends Joe Mauer to the disabled list

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Joe Mauer was finally beginning to look like his old self following last year’s season-ending concussion and a terrible start to this season, hitting .320 over his last 20 games, but last night he suffered a strained oblique muscle while hitting a double to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

That’s almost never a quick-healing injury and Mauer revealed after the game that he’s actually been playing through discomfort for about a week, so the Twins have already placed him on the disabled list and called up first baseman/outfielder Chris Colabello from Triple-A to replace him on the roster.

Mauer’s move from catcher to first base had Twins fans hopeful that his already strong production would increase, but instead he’s hit a career-worst .271 with two homers and a career-worst .695 OPS in 76 games while striking out more than ever. His recent hot streak was reason for optimism, but now Mauer will be out for at least two weeks and probably closer to a month.

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.