Josh Hamilton, who has been shelved for three weeks with a broken humerus sustained sliding into home plate, will begin swinging off a tee Wednesday, the Rangers revealed today.
Hamilton has been playing catch and shagging flyballs in his rehab and is considered about a week ahead of schedule. The Rangers originally said he’d be out 6-8 weeks with the injury. If he can avoid any setbacks, a return during the May 23-29 homestand against the White Sox and Royals seems possible.
With Hamilton sidelined, the Rangers have alternated Julio Borbon and David Murphy in center field, with Mitch Moreland shifting back and forth between first base and the right field. Borbon could be at risk of being sent back to the minors when Hamilton returns, though he has some time left to secure his spot.
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.