Rangers activate Nelson Cruz but hold him out of lineup

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The Rangers activated Nelson Cruz after a minimum 15-day stay on the disabled list Tuesday, but it’s safe to say they wouldn’t have done so if not for the September 40-man rosters.

Manager Ron Washington made it clear to the Dallas Morning News that Cruz’s hamstring isn’t yet 100 percent, and he’s expected to be limited to pinch-hitting duties for now.

“Today is the 15th day,” Washington said. “I’m not a hamstring guy that believes you come right off on the 15th day. We’re just going to have to give him some more days.”

So, essentially, Cruz was activated because there was no reason not to activate him.

The Rangers also activated reliever Darren O’Day after he was on the shelf for three weeks with right shoulder inflammation.  He’ll be available immediately, but he’s not expected to pitch in close games for the time being.  He’s probably a long shot to make the postseason roster should the Rangers win the AL West.

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.