The Dodgers made a flurry of moves before Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Astros.
Setup man Hong-Chih Kuo was activated from the disabled list after missing more than a month with anxiety disorder, catcher Rod Barajas was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an ankle sprain, right-hander Ramon Troncoso was optioned to Triple-A, and catcher A.J. Ellis was recalled.
Kuo is likely to pitch in low-pressure situations initially. He has allowed seven runs — six earned — in nine appearances this season out of the Los Angeles bullpen. The Dodgers need far better from him, especially with closer Jonathan Broxton still battling elbow soreness and Vicente Padilla (neck surgery) ruled out for the remainder of the year.
Barajas sprained his ankle during Saturday night’s loss to the Astros and could miss up to three weeks. He is sporting a weak .220/.262/.385 batting line through 56 games this season.
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.