Takashi Saito has been unable to get in touch with his parents in Japan following last night’s massive earthquake, so the veteran reliever has left Brewers camp after asking the team for an indefinite leave of absence.
Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Saito was able to contact his wife and three children, and teammates like Prince Fielder encouraged Saito to take as much time away from the team as he needs.
Saito was born and attended college in Sendai, where the 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit.
UPDATE: Good news, via McCalvy: Saito’s family is “safe and accounted for.”
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.