The Dodgers, Diamondbacks to begin next season in Australia

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There was a time when the worst criminals in the bloody empire were sent down to New South Wales as punishment for their transgressions. But really, sending people there for a mere beanball war seems a bit extreme:

US Major League Baseball is coming to Sydney, with the opening series of next season – between the LA Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks – to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground next March.

In a $13 million coup for the state government, the opening series of the MLB will be held at the SCG on Saturday March 22 and Sunday March 23 – the first time a competitive US baseball fixture will be held in Australia and only the sixth time one has been staged outside America.

Or maybe this is something done independent of last night’s stuff. I dunno.

I guess this means it would be rude of the Dodgers to release Peter Moylan before next season, huh?

And if Luke Prokopec and Dave Nilsson don’t throw out the first pitches at each game, some people are going to have to take a long look in a mirror and think about their priorities.

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.