Jody Gerut officially retires from the game of baseball

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Jody Gerut is hanging up his cleats for good.

The 33-year-old outfielder and only known professional athlete who subscribes to The Economist inked a minor league contract with the Mariners over the winter, but he told a group of reporters on Sunday morning in spring camp that he no longer had the desire to continue playing.

Shannon Drayer of ESPN 710 AM and MyNorthwest.com called Gerut’s retirement press conference “incredible” and transcribed some of the speech:

“I can no longer in good conscious play the game in the manner that reflects the positive example for the younger generation of baseball players. Physically I am fine, but mentally my reasons for being in uniform have been so thin and narrow that I refuse to disrespect the game that has provided so generously for my family by playing it in a half hearted way. This game owes me nothing. But I owe the game at least that much. When a player finds his willingness to compete to be so greatly diminished that player must leave the game so as not to disrespect it by becoming a player who plays solely for his paycheck and his own personal glory.

Hard to argue with any of that. Gerut will finish up with a .262/.325/.433 career slash line and 472 career hits. He played six major league seasons, spending time with the Indians, Cubs, Pirates, Padres and Brewers.

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.