Barry Zito will not be in Giants' rotation for NLDS and could be left off the playoff roster

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Barry Zito was fantastic early on this season, going 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA through six starts, and he had an ERA under 3.50 as recently as mid-August, but the veteran left-hander went 1-8 with a 6.66 ERA in his final 11 starts and now the Giants have decided to bump him from the playoff rotation.
Tim Lincecum will start Game 1, followed by Matt Cain in Game 2 and Jonathan Sanchez in Game 3. Bruce Bochy said today that he’s undecided about who would get the Game 4 call, but the options don’t include Zito. Instead, it’ll either be rookie Madison Bumgarner or Lincecum coming back on short rest.
Normally that would mean a trip to the bullpen for Zito, but with Jeremy Affeldt, Dan Runzler, and Javier Lopez the Giants aren’t exactly short on left-handed relief options. In other words, the $126 million man could be left off the postseason roster entirely for the first round.

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.