Casey Blake hospitalized with infected elbow, could miss four weeks

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Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Casey Blake “appears to be headed back to the 15-day disabled list” after being hospitalized yesterday in Florida for a fever that the Dodgers believe stems from a swollen, infected elbow.

Dodgers trainer Stan Conte believes that Blake could be sidelined for a month and Don Mattingly noted that “it’s one of those situations you can’t play around with.”

Blake is out of the lineup for today’s game against the Marlins after sitting out Monday and Tuesday, with Mattingly telling Hernandez that the third baseman’s swollen elbow may cause doctors to “open it up and flush it out.”

Aaron Miles is apparently Mattingly’s preferred replacement at third base despite his abysmal .231 batting average and .544 OPS in 174 games since 2009.

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.