Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann ends season with 3.18 ERA

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Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann spent most of the 2010 season recovering from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, so he tallied only 70 2/3 innings between the minor and major leagues.

Because of that low innings total, the talented 25-year-old right-hander entered the 2011 campaign with a loosely-defined innings limit. And he reached it on Sunday afternoon against the Reds.

Zimmermann allowed three earned runs over 4 1/3 frames, surrendering six hits and a walk while fanning six Cincinnati hitters in his final outing of the year. He threw 81 pitches, 55 of which went for strikes.

Despite Sunday’s rough outing, the often underhyped Zimmermann will turn out the lights on his third major league season having posted a fantastic 3.18 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 124/31 K/BB ratio over 161 1/3 innings (26 starts). He’s likely to open 2012 as the Nats’ No. 2 starter behind 23-year-old phenom Stephen Strasburg.

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.