Don’t worry Yankees fans: A-Rod is still ‘above average”

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Alex Rodriguez popped out with the bases loaded to end Sunday’s 10-8 loss to the Angels. But, hey, his general manager still thinks he’s good. Kind of.

“I don’t look at A-Rod and his contract. I look at him as a player who’s above average at his position,” Brian Cashman told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

Cashman is absolutely right, of course. And that’s how Rodriguez should be looked at; the money is already spent anyway. A-Rod isn’t what he was, but he’s still a pretty good hitter and he hasn’t turned into a liability at third base yet, though he might before his deal is up.

Of course, it is the money that is getting him booed. Rodriguez is signed through 2017 and still has at least $118 million coming his way after this year.

A-Rod hit his 14th homer today, a two-run shot off Jered Weaver. He also had a single in five at-bats. Overall, he’s hitting a perfectly respectable .270 with 40 RBI in 85 games. It’s just that the fans want more than “above average” from him.

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.