Casey Janssen throws “impressive” bullpen session, nearing return from abdominal injury

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Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen is almost fully recovered from his late-spring left abdominal strain.

John Lott of Canada’s National Post reports that the right-hander threw a bullpen session on Wednesday afternoon, which manager John Gibbons called “impressive.” Janssen will throw another bullpen session in the next couple of days and should then be cleared for a minor league rehab assignment.

Sergio Santos will continue to close for now.

Janssen registered an outstanding 2.56 ERA, 0.987 WHIP, and 50/13 K/BB ratio across 52 2/3 innings last season for the Blue Jays, saving 34 games in 36 opportunities.

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.