The first-place Diamondbacks were dealt a scare on Tuesday night when star right fielder Justin Upton was forced from action after getting hit on the left elbow by a pitch. It turns out he’s just fine.
Upton was diagnosed with a mild left elbow contusion and is back in the Arizona starting lineup on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
Here’s what the 23-year-old National League MVP candidate told the media during a pregame chat (via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic):
“I’m just a little sore and I can play when I’m sore.”
Upton has posted a sparkling .298/.370/.544 slash line with 25 homers, 77 RBI and 19 steals through 548 plate appearances this season. He has also appeared in all 129 of the Diamondbacks’ games thus far.
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.