Angels optimistic Erick Aybar will avoid the disabled list

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Erick Aybar “did agility drills and rode an exercise bike for about 20 minutes” today and “the Angels are confident the shortstop won’t need to go on the disabled list.”
Aybar appeared to have suffered a major leg injury when Casey McGehee slid into him while breaking up a double play Monday night, saying later that he was “scared that day … I thought I was hurt bad when it happened.”
However, an MRI exam revealed merely a hyper-extended knee and Mike Scioscia said today that “he’s feeling a lot better.” Incidentally, while he hasn’t watched the replay of McGehee’s slide, Aybar said he “had no problem with it” because “he was trying to take me out and slid hard, I was trying to catch the ball.”
Maicer Izturis initially stepped in for Aybar at shortstop, but now that he’s also injured Brandon Wood is starting there this afternoon for the second straight game. Wood played shortstop extensively in the minors before shifting primarily to third base last season and at this point his bat is a much bigger question mark than his glove.

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.