Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly left today’s start against the Brewers after tweaking his hamstring trying to beat out an infield single in the sixth inning.
With his next turn in the rotation in question the Cardinals may have to dip into their impressive pitching depth for a fill-in starter. Carlos Martinez could be shifted from the bullpen, although his arm strength isn’t built up yet and the Cardinals presumably wouldn’t want to disrupt his relief role so quickly after deciding not to use him as a starter.
Left-hander Tyler Lyons is waiting in the wings at Triple-A and actually started today as well, so he’d be on the same schedule as Kelly if needed. Lyons had a 4.75 ERA with nice secondary numbers in 53 innings for the Cardinals last season as a 25-year-old rookie and pitched well at Triple-A too.
Delving even deeper into the minors is another possibility, because the Cardinals have plenty of intriguing young starters at Double-A and Triple-A, but if they feel like Kelly’s injury won’t require more than 1-2 missed starts Lyons would seemingly be the easy pick.
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.
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.