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John Kruk to join the Phillies broadcast team

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John Kruk left ESPN at the end of the season when his contract was up. Matt Stairs left the CSNPhilly broadcast crew at the end of the season when he was hired to be the Phillies hitting coach. Ergo, CSN’s Jim Salisbury reports, Kruk will join the team’s television broadcast crew on CSNPhilly during the 2017 season.

Not a bad move, both for Kruk and for Phillies fans. Kruk wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea while he was with ESPN, but he was always affable and he was way, way better when he was not a merely joking around and reminiscing with Curt Schilling as opposed to talking about the game at hand. Doing a game night-in-night-out as opposed to weekly will will likely curtail his generalist tendencies and even if he does reminisce a bit more, it’s more appropriate for a local broadcast for the team for which he starred than it was for a national broadcast.

In other news, if this pattern holds up, Rico Brogna, Jim Thome and Ryan Howard are next in line to be Phillies commentators.

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.