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Braves designate Emilio Bonafacio for assignment


The Braves shook up their roster a bit today by designating utilityman Emilio Bonafacio for assignment and optioning infielder Jace Peterson and right hander Matt Wisler to Triple-A. To fill their spots on the 25-man they called up infielder Johan Camargo and activated lefty Eric O’Flaherty and third baseman Adonis Garcia from the DL.

The Garcia/O’Flaherty moves were expected. The Bonifacio DFA was somewhat surprising given that the Braves have put up with low production from him for some time. Indeed, he seemed like one of those guys teams just keep around despite their offensive futility due to their defensive flexibility. Thing is, defensive versatility is not the same as defensive proficiency and no teams are likely to put up with the .171/.210/.211 line Bonifacio has sported for the Braves over the last two seasons.

As for Garcia: his being called up while his replacement at third, Rio Ruiz, remains with the team is somewhat interesting. Ruiz is not a good defender but he’s younger than Garcia and it would seem that the Braves just want to get a longer look at him in the bigs. The lefty Ruiz and righty Garcia will likely split time in a platoon going forward.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.