Giants outfielder Jose Guillen linked to HGH shipments

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Some breaking news here from Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times.

Giants outfielder Jose Guillen was left off San Francisco’s postseason roster this month not because of his poor play, but because he is being investigated currently for ties to performance-enhancing drugs.

According to Schmidt’s report, Guillen had packages of human growth hormone (HGH) sent to an address that is registered to his wife in the Bay Area during the 2010 season.  Major League Baseball immediately opened an investigation and recommended to the Giants that Guillen be left off the club’s postseason roster.  The Giants complied and the investigation goes on.

Few people have agreed to comment on the story and Guillen should be viewed as innocent until proven guilty, but it wouldn’t be the first time that the veteran outfielder has been linked to performance-enhancers.  The San Francisco Chronicle discovered in 2007 that Guillen bought more than $19,000 worth of HGH between 2002 and 2005.

All of this could lead to a 50-game suspension for the 34-year-old impending free agent.   He slugged 19 home runs and tallied 77 RBI in 524 at-bats this past season, but he no longer plays good defense and it’s highly probable that Guillen won’t be available for the fist few months of 2011.  It’s going to be tough for him to find a contract before the start of next year’s regular season.

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.