Ted Lilly exits start with stiffness on left side of neck

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From Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times comes word that Dodgers starter Ted Lilly had to be removed from Saturday’s game against the Rockies due to stiffness on the left side of his neck.

Lilly told reporters that he has been bothered by the neck discomfort since sleeping awkwardly a few days ago in Milwaukee. The pain got worse and worse as Saturday’s start rolled on, and he departed with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The veteran southpaw allowed three earned runs on three hits, striking out five but issuing three walks.

The Dodgers are hopeful that Lilly will feel well enough to make his next scheduled start.

Lilly, 35, has posted a 4.58 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 117/35 K/BB ratio through 149 1/3 innings this season.

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.