Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher had surgery Thursday to remove a cancerous nodule from his thyroid gland and is expected to make a full recovery, according to Mark Saxon of ESPNLA.com.
In fact, Butcher was already back at work Sunday for the final team meetings before pitchers and catchers arrive at spring training, albeit while wearing a neck brace.
Butcher was examined by a doctor after complaining of neck pain and a specialist recommended surgery when a biopsy showed the cancerous growth. As a player Butcher spent parts of four seasons with the Angels as a reliever in the 1990s and the 45-year-old took over as the team’s pitching coach following the 2006 season when Bud Black left to become the Padres’ manager.
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.
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.