Royals put Felipe Paulino on disabled list with elbow injury

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Felipe Paulino looked like a candidate for a mini-breakout this season after throwing 125 innings with a 4.11 ERA and 119 strikeouts following a trade to the Royals last year, but instead the 28-year-old right-hander was placed on the disabled list with elbow soreness.

Manager Ned Yost indicated to Dick Kaegel of MLB.com that the injury is not considered serious, but Paulino has a history of elbow problems and it means both Luis Mendoza and Danny Duffy will be in the Opening Day rotation while he recovers from what is officially being called a right forearm flexor pronator strain.

They’ll join Opening Day starter Bruce Chen, plus Jonathan Sanchez and Luke Hochevar, which is a group that plays a big part in me being skeptical about the Royals’ chances of finally contending this season.

(And just because I’m still a child, this out-of-context quote from Yost about Paulino made me chuckle: “He’s a real tight-bodied guy.”)

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.