Must-Click Link: The Case Against Jack Morris

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We’ve seen a lot of tortured arguments in favor of Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame case.  I’d recap some of the best ones, but really, you had to be there.

Anyway, today comes what I think is the definitive case against Jack Morris.  It’s by Dan Szymborski over at ESPN (sorry; Insider only).  It’s not hysterical. It’s not polemical. It’s not disrespectful of Morris’ considerable accomplishments, nor does it approach the matter from the standpoint of “you gotta be an IDIOT to vote for Morris.”  It merely takes the arguments most have used in favor of Jack Morris and points out the problems with them. And there are a lot of them.

Morris didn’t prevent the opposition from scoring runs at anything much greater than an average clip.  He didn’t “pitch to the score” (or, if he tried to, he was not particularly successful at it).  Apart from one game in the 1991 World Series, he was nothing special as a playoff pitcher.  Despite his “best starter of the 80s” reputation, he was rarely thought of as special by Cy Young voters, who gave him the same number of Cy Young votes over his career as Mike Hampton and Dontrelle Willis.

None of which is to say that you can’t still vote for Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame if you’re so inclined.  You can.  You just need to find a reason that has not been discredited, as Szymborski discredits these arguments here. And which you apply to other starting pitchers who you consider on your ballot.

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.