Everyone's out to get Albert Pujols

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St. Louis Cardinals fans must be nervous. It seems like the baseball gods are trying to hurt Albert Pujols.

On Monday night, Pujols appeared to tweak his ankle while hustling into second base, getting his spikes caught in the dirt just before beginning his slide.

Turns out he was fine — even shrugging it off, saying he’d be in the
lineup Tuesday — but it was scary enough for the trainers to come out
to check him out.

If that wasn’t enough, turns out even some media members are after him. Do I smell a conspiracy?

Jack Curry of the New York Times wrote on Monday of an encounter last week with Pujols in which …

Our ankles got tangled for a moment and both of us nearly tripped.

“You all right?,” Pujols said. “I don’t want you to get hurt.”

It’s not like Pujols needs more All-Star votes so we’ll assume his concern for Curry was genuine.

To his credit, Curry found the question hilarious, and responded
correctly, saying “We’d be in a lot worse shape if anything happened to
you.”

So true. Had Pujols taken out Curry with their accidental game of Twister, it’s just another reporter down and out. (Click here for a great list)

But can you imagine the furor if a reporter had put the planet’s
best hitter on the disabled list? That would be a true test of the
power of the press.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.