Royals outfielder Jorge Soler will likely begin his first season in Kansas City on the disabled list after straining his oblique in a minor league game.
Soler, acquired from the Chicago Cubs in December for closer Wade Davis, hurt himself on a swing Sunday. Soler went for an MRI on Monday, which revealed a Grade 1 strain. He’ll rest for five to seven days before slowly resuming baseball activities, meaning he’ll miss the Royals’ opener next Monday at Minnesota.
Soler missed nearly two months last season with a pulled left hamstring. He was sidelined for three weeks in 2015 with a left oblique injury, plus another month with a sprained ankle.
Royals manager Ned Yost also said Raul Mondesi will open the season as the starting second baseman. Mondesi won the job over Whit Merrifield, Christian Colon and Cheslor Cuthbert.
“Nothing is impossible,” Mondesi said.
Yost told the 21-year-old Mondesi the news before an exhibition game against Oakland. Mondesi began the day hitting .378 this spring with a .622 slugging percentage, three home runs and two doubles in 19 games.
“For anybody who watched, it was definitely an obvious choice,” Yost said.
Yost said when spring training began the prevailing thought was Mondesi would need more grooming in the minors after hitting .185 in 47 games for the Royals as a rookie last year. He often looked overmatched at the plate, striking out 48 times in 135 at-bats.
AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES
RED SOX 11, ORIOLES 9
The Red Sox scratched Tyler Thornburg and indicated the righty reliever will start the season on the disabled list. Eduardo Rodriguez got the start and worked six innings and gave up nine hits and six runs, four of them earned. Steve Selsky homered for the fourth time this spring and Sandy Leon homered twice, including a grand slam.
The Orioles announced Kevin Gausman as their opening day starter with Chris Tillman slowed by a sore right shoulder. Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini both doubled twice for Baltimore.
METS (ss) 5, MARLINS 0
Mets starter Zack Wheeler, out the last two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery, worked five shutout innings, allowing just two hits while walking two and striking out three.
Starter Tom Koehler did not give up an earned run in 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking two.
NATIONALS 6, METS (ss) 0
Washington starter Max Scherzer threw five shutout innings, allowing two hits while striking out seven. Bryce Harper and Trea Turner each homered twice. The Nationals released pitchers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers before the game.
Seth Lugo worked 4 1/3 innings in the start and was tagged for three home runs among eight hits.
WHITE SOX 5, DODGERS 2
Derek Holland got the win, working six innings and giving up two runs and five hits. Melky Cabrera, Yolmer Sanchez and Todd Frazier each homered.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was named to the Dodgers rotation, worked five innings in the start, giving up three runs and five hits, including a pair of home runs. Franklin Gutierrez doubled for the Dodgers’ only extra-base hit.
GIANTS 14, REDS 2
Madison Bumgarner pitched seven innings, giving up two runs and four hits, and Mark Melancon worked a hitless ninth. Gorkys Hernandez hit three home runs, two off starter Cody Reed. Hunter Pence and Buster Posey also went deep.
Cody Reed struggled over 3 2/3 innings, allowing 10 runs, 10 hits and four walks. Stuart Turner homered.
RANGERS 6, ROCKIES 5
Mike Napoli doubled and homered for the third time this spring, and Allen Webster went 4 1/3 innings for the Rangers, allowing two runs.
Kyle Freeland pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and striking out five. Closer Greg Holland gave up two runs and three hits in an inning. Alexi Amarista homered.
ROYALS 10, A’S 3
Jason Vargas went seven innings, giving up just two runs and seven hits with five strikeouts. Mike Moustakas went deep for the fifth time this spring, and Alcides Escobar hit his second spring homer. Paulo Orlando and Brandon Moss also homered.
Andrew Triggs took the loss after giving up eight runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. Matt Chapman homered and Rajai Davis tripled.
ANGELS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 2
Jesse Chavez worked six scoreless innings to earn his second win of the spring, allowing just three hits. Jorge De La Rosa also gave up two runs in an inning of relief.
Shelby Miller took the loss, giving up two runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings.
PADRES 12, MARINERS 2
Wil Myers, Ryan Schimpf, Jabari Blash and Luis Sardinas each belted two-run home runs for the Padres. Matt Magill gave up two hits and struck out four in 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
Yovani Gallardo allowed three home runs in 4 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and seven runs. Mark Rzepczynski gave up three runs and four hits in just a third of an inning. Tuffy Gosewisch hit his first home run of the spring in the eighth. Before the game, the Mariners optioned rookie Dan Vogelbach to Triple-A Tacoma.
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