Ryan Howard sat out last night’s game after fouling a ball off his right foot and is also expected to get a cortisone injection in his sore left ankle today, so he’s unlikely to be back in the Phillies’ lineup before Thursday.
Howard would almost surely play through bursitis in his ankle if the Phillies hadn’t already clinched the division title and weren’t a near-lock for homefield advantage. Or as the former MVP put it: “The focus is towards October and being healthy for October.”
As usual Howard is knocking in a ton of runs, leading the league with 113 RBIs, but he’s also posted career-lows in batting average (.249), slugging percentage (.490), and OPS (.833) while hitting just .237 in 120 games since a strong April.
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.