The good news for Chien-Ming Wang is that what initially looked like a serious leg injury suffered during yesterday’s game turned out to be merely a strained hamstring.
The bad news is that manager Davey Johnson said today that he expects Wang to be out of action for “a couple weeks minimum.”
That will make it all but impossible for Wang to begin the season in the Nationals’ rotation, as he won’t have built up the necessary arm strength and pitch count even if he somehow returns to the mound sooner than expected.
By resisting the urge to trade John Lannan the Nationals have a capable fill-in waiting to replace Wang, but he was finally starting to look somewhat like his old self three years after shoulder surgery.
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.