Nationals call up third catcher Jesus Flores to replace Ryan Zimmerman on roster

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Ryan Zimmerman is headed for the disabled list with an abdominal strain and Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington reports that the Nationals will replace him on the roster with Jesus Flores, which would give them three catchers along with Ivan Rodriguez and Wilson Ramos.

All three guys hit right-handed, so there isn’t really a natural platoon to be formed, and the Nationals have indicated recently that they’re committed to giving Ramos the majority of the action behind the plate because he’s passed Flores as the catcher of the future.

By adding a third catcher it allows manager Jim Riggleman to a) pinch-hit for a catcher without worrying about not having another catcher on the bench, and b) use Rodriguez more often at first base. The first thing is of marginal value and the second thing is of negative value, so while it’s nice to see Flores get back to the majors following two years of shoulder problems the move doesn’t make a ton of sense.

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.