MLB splits up agitator umps Joe West and Angel Hernandez

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Gerry Fraley points out something I can’t believe I missed: Major League Baseball has split up crew chief Joe West and over-zealous cohort Angel Hernandez to start the second half.

Hernandez has been moved on to Gerry Davis’ crew and switched spots with Sam Holbrook.

West’s crew had become notorious for hot-headedness this season.  In the eight days leading up to the All-Star break alone, they had issued six ejections.  Overall, they had ejected 17 players and managers despite already having a week-long break in June.  That’s five more ejections than any other crew had issued.

Hernandez is typically voted baseball’s worst ump whenever those kinds of polls come along, and while West’s reputation isn’t so bad, he has a long history of bumping chins given any provocation at all.  Hopefully, both will be a little calmer apart than they were together.

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.