Johnny Cueto makes it just four innings against Astros

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R.A. Dickey is the NL’s new ERA leader.

Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto, who had been wearing the crown, was hammered for four earned runs on nine hits Sunday afternoon against the Astros before exiting after just four frames. He struck out six and issued only one walk, but the typically light-hitting Houston lineup took advantage of balls left up in the zone and the ‘Stros are now in a position to snag two of three from first-place Cincy.

Cueto’s ERA jumped from 2.58 to 2.71 and his WHIP rose from 1.15 to 1.17. He has a 155/42 K/BB ratio in 192 2/3 total innings.

Dickey’s ERA is 2.64 and his WHIP is 1.03. He has 195 strikeouts and 45 walks in 198 innings.

The National League Cy Young Award might just go to a knuckeballer this season.

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.