Quote of the Day: Derek Jeter’s slow demise edition

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 “It’s almost sad to see how fast [Jeter] has lost it. Everything looks slow, soft, old. I hate saying it, because everyone respects Derek. But it’s true.”

— An American League scout, quoted by Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record.

Klapisch’s article is a good one. Rather than just wring his hands about Jeter’s awful performance, he reminds us of the last time a Yankee icon simply lost it: 1951 and Joe DiMaggio.  The difference, as Klapisch notes, is Jeter’s new contract hanging over everything.  Should Jeter walk away if he can’t find his stroke this year?  Is he even capable of doing so?

In thinking about this I’m struck by the notion that the air of professionalism and high-quality public relations that has served Jeter so well throughout his career now works to make his thoughts and motivations on the matter a mystery.  Last year, when Chipper Jones was struggling he talked openly about whether he could or should continue to play through the duration of his contract.  We’ll likely never get such public emoting about it all from Jeter.

Not that we deserve it. It’s his career and his life. But the mystery about it all probably does work to increase the public scrutiny, with our fretting about it filling the void that Jeter’s lack of public comment creates.

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.