If the Dodgers tank Don Mattingly will be the scapegoat

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Interesting article in the L.A. Times. Don Mattingly has an option year for 2014 and he recently asked the Dodgers to exercise it so that he’s not a lame duck this season. They said nopers:

“It was a 30-second conversation about the option, they said that wasn’t the plan for me or my coaches, it was a moot point, and I’m fine with that,” Mattingly said in a phone interview. “But you would have liked for them to pick up the extensions so the players could be shown confidence. You never want it to be like, after a couple of bad games, people are saying, ‘Oh, are they gonna change managers now?”

This is a $200 million+ team with a new ownership group and a monster TV deal getting inked soon. Everything is trending high expectations. So you have to figure if those expectations aren’t met, it’ll be Mattingly’s head which will roll first. Especially considering GM Ned Colletti had his contract extended.

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.