A’s closer Andrew Bailey throws first round of batting practice

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Andrew Bailey successfully faced live hitters yesterday for the first time since injuring his forearm in mid-March, throwing live batting practice.

Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Bailey threw 25 pitches, all of them fastballs, and afterward manager Bob Geren said the A’s closer “looked real good” and “felt good.”

He’s expected to throw another round of batting practice while mixing in some off-speed pitches, at which point the A’s may clear him to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.

Oakland’s bullpen has thrived without Bailey, posting a 2.88 ERA while fill-in closer Brian Fuentes converts seven of nine save chances.

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.