Hong-Chih Kuo’s agent told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that the injured left-hander has no plans to retire despite battling anxiety issues during the season and needing a fifth elbow surgery.
Kuo is scheduled to go under the knife tomorrow, but the surgery is a relatively minor removal of “loose bodies” from his elbow and the recovery timetable is expected to be just 6-8 weeks. Or as Dodgers trainer Stan Conte put it: “It’s a minor surgery for anyone other than Kuo.”
Assuming the Dodgers tender him a contract for next season Kuo will be in line for at least $2.75 million via the arbitration process and while his health has always been a huge question mark he’s still just 30 years old. And even while struggling with extreme control problems this season Kuo racked up 36 strikeouts in 27 innings after posting a 1.96 ERA and 201 strikeouts in 170 innings from 2008-2010.
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.