Five weeks after Triple-A teammate Miguel Olivo bit part of his ear off in a dugout incident Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero is almost ready to resume playing.
General manager Ned Colletti told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that Guerrero has reported to the Dodgers’ training facility in Arizona and will work on his conditioning there until he’s cleared for game action.
Guerrero required plastic surgery to re-attach the missing chunk from his ear after the since-released Olivo went insane in the middle of a game. At the time he was hitting .376 with 10 homers and a 1.152 OPS in 33 games and the 27-year-old Cuban defector who signed with the Dodgers for $28 million appeared on the verge of being called up to the big leagues.
At some point in the second half Guerrero could emerge as an option to replace Dee Gordon, who’s hit just .224 with a .299 on-base percentage and .345 slugging percentage in his last 45 games following a hot start.
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.