Josh Hamilton: “There’s something to say about having a little extra butt on you”

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It turns out sometimes a ballplayer getting into The Best Shape Of His Life isn’t such a good thing, as Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes about Josh Hamilton:

Last offseason, he started a natural-juice diet–or “lifestyle change,” as he calls it–and entered at an estimated 227 pounds, roughly 20 pounds lighter than normal. For next year, he’s scrapping that. His goal is to enter at his traditional 245 pounds again.

“I’m going to try to put some weight on, but do it the right way–by doing a lot of the things I’m doing now, but adding more calories, things like that,” Hamilton said. “Because this year, I haven’t been weaker than I have–I’m just as strong in the weight room as I’ve ever been–but I think there’s something to say about having a little extra butt on you.”

“There’s something to say about having a little extra butt on you” is a pretty good motto, just for life in general. And oddly enough, on my podcast this week we spent a solid 15 minutes discussing the all-time best butts in Twins history.

Incidentally, while his overall numbers are awful and the Angels are no doubt regretting his $125 million contract in a huge way, Hamilton has hit .329 with five homers and a .916 OPS in his last 40 games.

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.