Cuba blew out China in the World Baseball Classic yesterday, winning 12-0 in a game that was called after seven innings due to the mercy rule. It wasn’t much to see and there weren’t many people there to see it.
Officially the announced attendance for the game in Japan was 3,123, which is pretty bad in itself, but Ben Badler of Baseball America was there and snapped this photo of the “crowd” just moments before the first pitch:
In his game recap Badler writes that “in reality, there appeared to be about 86 fans in the stadium … creating the feeling of an Arizona Fall League game in a dome.”
Something to think about when reading the various articles scolding American fans for not being interested enough in the WBC.
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.
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.