Civil Rights Game set for May 15th in Atlanta

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Major League Baseball issued a press release a little while ago regarding this year’s edition of the Civil Rights Game.  The game itself will be May 15th.  All of the relevant details are here. Kudos to baseball for not merely putting a couple of teams in Negro Leagues throwbacks, playing the game and calling it a day.  Indeed, the Civil Rights Game is surrounded by more stuff than the All-Star Game usually is, albeit in a lower key way.  Among them:

  • A job fair aimed at minorities looking to land positions with MLB suppliers;
  • A tribute to Hank Aaron, involving a red carpet event and screening of the Aaron documentary “Hank Aaron:Chasing the Dream”;
  • A roundtable discussion about baseball and the civil rights movement, held at Ebenezer Baptist Church;
  • A youth game/clinic attended by players;
  • An awards banquet; and
  • The actual game in which the Braves will destroy the Philadelphia Phillies

Good for Major League Baseball for making this an actual substantive event when it would be so easy to merely pander to the idea of civil rights, as is so often the case in the business world.  Baseball’s history with civil rights is just as spotty as any other American institution’s, but it tends to really get this sort of thing right.

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.