Dave Winfield joins MLBPA as special assistant

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According to the Associated Press, Hall of Famer Dave Winfield has joined the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) as a special assistant to new executive director Tony Clark.

Clark, who played 15 seasons in the majors, was officially appointed to the position of executive director this week following the death of Michael Weiner last month. He is the first former player to hold the position.

Below is a statement from Winfield, courtesy of a press release from the MLBPA:

“As a former union leader, I’m thrilled to be joining the ranks of the most accomplished and respected sports union in the country to help provide a generational link and historical perspective to today’s players,” stated Winfield. “I have participated in nearly every aspect of the game, and I look forward to putting that experience to good use in support of Tony Clark and various MLBPA activities and initiatives.”

Winfield was a player representative in 15 out of his 22 seasons in the majors and was a founding member of the advisory board of the Major League Baseball Players Trust after his retirement. He has also served as an executive vice president and senior advisor for the Padres since 2001.

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.