Brian McCann took batting practice for the first time since shoulder surgery

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He’s still unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, but Brian McCann felt healthy enough to take batting practice yesterday for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery in October.

McCann reported no issues and told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that “it was nice to get back in there and see something coming at you.”

Throwing may prove to be a bigger issue than hitting for McCann, but the Braves catcher has been making tosses from 120 feet every other day. Bowman writes that mid-April is the current target for his return, but there’s no official timetable yet and based on some of the previous reports that sounds fairly optimistic.

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.