Astros eliminate “advance scout” position to focus on video

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In his first year as manager Brad Mills encouraged Astros players to rely extensively on video to scout opponents and analyze their own performance, and now Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that the team is eliminating the position of “advance scout” to focus even more on video work.

The news isn’t quite as noteworthy as it may sound, because as Levine writes some teams don’t even employ an “advance scout” to begin with and the Astros are simply re-assigning their guy to another role in the organization.

However, with the amazing advancements in the technology of baseball over the past few years it’s interesting to see which teams are taking advantage of the new types of information and information delivery systems available to them. There’s a competitive advantage to be gained for the teams smart enough to figure out how to put the data and technology to good use.

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.