Ted Lilly to begin minor league rehab assignment Sunday

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The Dodgers continue to be connected in trade rumors with Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, but they could get one of their own starters back from the disabled list in the near future.

According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Ted Lilly is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday with High-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Lilly hasn’t pitched since May 23 due to left shoulder inflammation. The 36-year-old southpaw is expected to pitch two innings on Sunday and will likely need about two or three weeks to get properly stretched out to rejoin the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

Lilly didn’t make his season debut until April 14 due to a neck injury, but he had a 1.79 ERA across his first seven starts before he was knocked around for eight runs on nine hits and five walks over 3 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks on May 23. The Dodgers are hoping they’ll get the good Lilly back soon.

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.