Pirates lose left-hander Zach Duke to disabled list

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Still dealing with a sore elbow, Zach Duke was expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Pirates on Wednesday.
Duke last pitched a week ago, when he allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the White Sox. He has lost four straight starts, leaving him 3-8 with a 5.49 ERA for the season.
While he was one of two Pirates’ All-Stars a year ago, Duke has been struggling for about 11 months now. Since the 2009 break, he’s 6-16 with a 5.32 ERA in 28 starts. He’s allowed 222 hits in 167 1/3 innings.
The hope is that Duke will miss just one more start, as the Pirates believe there’s nothing structurally wrong with his elbow. The team could turn to Dana Eveland or call up Daniel McCutchen to start in his place Saturday.

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.