Cardinals GM John Mozeliak issues statement on report that Oscar Taveras was drunk

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Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak has issued a statement on the recent report out of the Dominican Republic that outfield prospect Oscar Taveras was heavily-intoxicated during his fatal car crash …

“We have seen the media reports regarding Oscar Taveras that have come out this afternoon, but have yet to receive any official notification from the Dominican.  Until we have the opportunity to review the official report, we cannot confirm details.  While we are still working to obtain the facts, it won’t change the fact that this is a terrible tragedy.  We have an obligation to use this as an opportunity to educate our players that they must take responsibility for themselves both on and off the field.”

Oscar and his 18-year-old girlfriend died October 26 when Taveras’ car smashed into a tree in the Dominican.

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.