Matt Kemp played his third minor-league rehab game yesterday, going 1-for-4 and logging seven innings defensively in center field.
Kemp is now 5-for-11 (.455) with a double at Single-A and his hamstring feels good enough that he’s still planning to participate in the Home Run Derby despite being ruled out of the All-Star game.
Barring a setback there he’s on track to come off the disabled list for the first game of the second half, which is next Friday versus the Padres at Dodger Stadium.
Kemp has been out since aggravating his hamstring injury on May 30. At that point the Dodgers were 32-18 and averaging 4.4 runs per game. Since then they’re 15-19 and averaging 3.1 runs per game, although certainly other injuries have also played a big part in the declining offensive production.
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.