Jonathan Papelbon has suspension reduced to two games

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Jonathan Papelbon’s three-game suspension for bumping umpire Tony Randazzo earned earlier this month seemed excessive, and someone in the league office agreed, as the penalty was reduced to two games on appeal.

He’ll begin serving it today.

Papelbon was suspended June 7 for an incident that took place two days earlier against the A’s.  Randazzo stepped out from behind home plate and took steps toward the mound after getting the impression that Papelbon was yelling at him from the mound.  That led to more chatter, an ejection and then the two going chest-to-chest.

Papelbon, who picked up his 13th save last night against the Rays, will be out of action both Friday and Saturday before being eligible to return to the mound for Sunday’s finale against the Brewers. Daniel Bard is likely to close in his place.

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.