Jason Heyward may be playing with pain all year

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David O’Brien reports that Jason Heyward is suffering from a strained thumb ligament that, while not requiring surgery, will likely bother Heyward for the rest of the season (i.e. “until Heyward gets extended rest in the offseason).

It’s been apparent for some time that he’s not been right, as he’s been hitting a mere .172/.274/.232 over his past 24 games. The league is figuring him out, but they didn’t figure him out that much that quickly.

The Braves are 14-10 over that stretch, and that’s not too bad, but if he isn’t able to figure out how to play with the pain and become productive again, Atlanta is going to need to go out and get a bat in order to stay competitive in the East.

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.