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Report: Reds engaged in discussions with David Hernandez

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The Reds are engaged in “serious discussions” with free agent right-hander David Hernandez, according to Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Hernandez is one of several bullpen targets on the club’s radar this winter, though Buchanan points out that they’re still far from finalizing a deal with any potential candidate.

Hernandez, 32, took a minor league contract with the Braves in the spring of 2017. He was flipped to the Angels for a player to be named later, and eked out a 2.23 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.2 SO/9 through 36 1/3 innings before the club dealt him to the Diamondbacks in July. The righty’s numbers took a slight downturn in Arizona, landing on a 4.82 ERA and 7.2 SO/9, but he continued to demonstrate exceptional control after limiting batters to an 0.5 BB/9 in 18 2/3 innings.

A deal isn’t imminent, however, and Buchanan adds that both Hernandez and the Reds have other avenues worth pursuing if they can’t converge on multi-year terms that would benefit both parties. The club signed fellow veteran right-hander Jared Hughes to a two-year, $4.5 million pact last month and are presumably looking for another arm or two to round out their relief options beyond Hughes, Michael Lorenzen, Rafael Iglesias and Wandy Peralta.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.