Phillies choose drawn-out, Big Three-friendly NLDS schedule

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By virtue of finishing with the National League’s top record the Phillies got to choose between a seven-day or eight-day schedule for the NLDS, and as expected they picked the drawn-out version that allows them to rely exclusively on the trio of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels in the five-game series.
They’ll open the playoffs next Wednesday in Philadelphia, but then have Thursday off while the other three division series play that day. The extra off day allows them to skip fourth starter Joe Blanton, and helps set them up to potentially lean on The Big Three to start 17 of 19 postseason games overall.

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.