Ryan Zimmerman to see specialist for shoulder injury

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Ryan Zimmerman’s shoulder injury showed no improvement after a round of batting practice yesterday, so the Nationals third baseman will be examined by a specialist in Los Angeles.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Zimmerman is expected to get a cortisone shot, which typically knocks players out of action for at least 2-3 days, and a disabled list stint seems all but certain at this point.

Zimmerman has already been on the active roster without being available to play for nearly a week, so continuing to play short-handed makes little sense for the Nationals even though manager Davey Johnson stressed that they’re willing to wait because “he’s our best player.”

Zimmerman initially hurt his shoulder making several diving plays last week and told Kilgore that he’d likely “get a shot and play” through the injury if it was September rather than April. Doing that for 4-5 months isn’t really an option and after missing most of last season with an abdominal injury Zimmerman stressed that taking a long-term view of the situation is his priority.

He signed a six-year, $100 million contract extension in February.

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.