Nationals shut down Nate McLouth, call up hot-hitting Steven Souza

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This offseason the Nationals made Nate McLouth a very expensive fourth outfielder by signing him to a two-year, $10.75 million deal, but he’s hit just .173 in limited playing time and now he’s on the disabled list.

McLouth has been shut down with right shoulder inflammation and according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post he’s been playing through it “for much of the season, an ailment the Nationals and McLouth kept private.”

Add another name to the ever-expanding list of playing through injuries working out poorly.

To replace McLouth on the roster the Nationals called up Steven Souza Jr., who’s had a monster season at Triple-A by hitting .354 with 18 homers and a 1.036 OPS. While not considered a top prospect at age 25, he also put up strong numbers in 2012 and 2013 and can play all over the diamond defensively.

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.