Josh Hamilton given two cortisone injections in ribs

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Josh Hamilton hasn’t played since September 4, when he crashed into an outfield wall at the Twins’ Target Field and suffered a bruised ribcage and shoulder. 

According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Rangers took a drastic step earlier this week toward getting him back on the field, injecting the area of his ribs with two cortisone shots. 

Hamilton is hoping to feel improvement by Saturday and is hoping to return to the Rangers’ starting lineup by early next week.  He was batting an MVP-worthy .361/.414/.635 with 31 homers and 97 RBI over 507 at-bats before the sudden injury.  The 29-year-old has also shown excellent range in center field, registering a 9.3 UZR/150 according to the great FanGraphs.

The Rangers have a massive 10-game lead over the A’s in the American League West, so they have no real reason to rush Hamilton.  But it would be nice for him to get back in the groove of playing every day before the first week of October.

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.