The Nationals haven’t ruled out giving Bryce Harper the starting right field job next spring

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The phrase “… haven’t ruled out” is one you really gotta take with a grain of salt. I mean, I haven’t ruled out a lot of ridiculous things, mostly because I haven’t considered them in the first place.  That said, this is still interesting to me:

source:

Likelihood: outrageously low. Harper only hit .256/.329/.395 in his first look at double-A last year. Which is awesome for someone his age, but c’mon, that doesn’t look like a guy who is going to be able to step into a major league lineup at age 19.

Still: the very fact that this report is out there suggests how well the Nats understand that Harper’s appeal to fans and thus his usefulness as a marquee draw. I’ll bet he stays in the big league camp much longer than your usual minor league kid next spring.

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.