Freddy Sanchez to begin playing rehab games Monday

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Via Spencer Fordin, contributor to MLB.com:

The Giants announced Saturday that second baseman Freddy Sanchez will begin an injury rehabilitation assignment Monday with Class A San Jose in the hope that he will be able to perform defensively by the middle of the week.

Sanchez will be limited to DH duties initially as he continues to build strength around his surgically-repaired right shoulder. He should join the Giants’ starting lineup about a week after he’s cleared to begin playing second base in minor league rehab games.

Sanchez hasn’t played in a major league game since June 10, 2011. He’s a .297/.335/.413 career hitter.

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.