Matt Harvey hopes to start throwing on February 22

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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is a severe long shot to throw a pitch in the majors this season, but he continues to make progress in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, Harvey said Thursday that he’s aiming to begin throwing on February 22. That’s just two weeks from today.

“They said I should be able to start throwing four months after the surgery and that’s Feb. 22, and I haven’t had any setbacks,” Harvey, who had elbow surgery in October, told The Post.“I can’t wait. Even if it’s 10 feet, I just want to pick up a ball. As if right now, I don’t see why I wouldn’t be able to do that.”

During an appearance on WFAN yesterday, Harvey said that his rehab is going “really smoothly” and that he recently resumed regular weight training. He plans to report to spring training along with the other pitchers and catchers on February 15.

Harvey continues to hint at the possibility of pitching for the Mets before the end of the season, but MetsBlog notes that GM Sandy Alderson told a group of season-ticket holders Thursday that it’s unlikely he’ll pitch for the club this year even if they are in a pennant race. The typical recovery time from Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months. Harvey had his surgery on October 22 last year.

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.