Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson hasn’t appeared in a major league game since the first week of August due to a fatigued throwing shoulder.
But he is making steady progress and could be ready for the final week or two of the regular season.
According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the 25-year-old ace felt “really good” after a session of long toss Wednesday and is likely to throw his first bullpen session Friday if he continues to feel no renewed discomfort. A couple of simulated games would follow, then Hanson could be cleared to return to Atlanta’s starting rotation.
Hanson had a fantastic 3.60 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 142/46 K/BB ratio through 130 innings this year before the shoulder problems put him on the shelf. The Braves, who would appear to have the National League Wild Card locked up, will be hoping for big things from the talented young starter this October.
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.