Royals outfielder Jorge Soler likely will 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, allowing four earned runs. Steve Selsky homered for the fourth time this spring and Sandy Leon went deep 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 right-hander Zack Wheeler, out the last two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery, pitched five innings of two-hit ball.
Tom Koehler struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings for Miami. He allowed four unearned runs and three hits.
NATIONALS 6, METS (ss) 0
Washington star Max Scherzer struck out seven in five innings. Bryce Harper and Trea Turner each homered twice.
The Nationals released pitchers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers before the game.
New York’s Seth Lugo pitched 4 1/3 innings and was tagged for three home runs among eight hits.
WHITE SOX 5, DODGERS 2
Derek Holland pitched six effective innings for the White Sox, allowing two runs and five hits. Melky Cabrera, Yolmer Sanchez and Todd Frazier homered.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was named to the Dodgers’ rotation, worked five innings. He yielded 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
San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner pitched seven innings of two-run ball, 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.
Reed struggled over 3 2/3 innings, allowing 10 runs. Stuart Turner homered for Cincinnati.
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.
Colorado’s 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 pitched seven solid innings for Kansas City, and Mike Moustakas went deep for the fifth time this spring. Alcides Escobar, Paulo Orlando and Brandon Moss also homered.
Oakland’s Andrew Triggs was tagged for eight runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. Matt Chapman homered for the Athletics, 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.
Shelby Miller took the loss, giving up two runs in 4 1/3 innings. Jorge De La Rosa also gave up two runs in an inning of relief.
PADRES 12, MARINERS 2
Wil Myers, Ryan Schimpf, Jabari Blash and Luis Sardinas each hit a two-run homer for the Padres. Matt Magill gave up two hits and struck out four in 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
Seattle’s 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.
PIRATES 4, TWINS 1
Andrew McCutchen launched a two-run homer, his first of the spring, and Adam Frazier added a solo shot as part of a three-run first for Pittsburgh. Frazier finished with two hits and two RBIs.
Miguel Sano provided the offense for Minnesota with a home run.
Ivan Nova worked four innings for the Pirates, allowing one run with six strikeouts. Nova has a 1.29 spring ERA.
BRAVES 11, TIGERS 3
Matt Kemp doubled, tripled, and finished with two RBIs and two runs scored for Atlanta. Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson had three hits apiece.
Miguel Cabrera and Omar Infante each had two hits for Detroit. Tigers starter Daniel Norris was rocked for nine runs in three innings. Norris, who is expected to join the Tigers’ rotation full-time in 2017, cited a case of “dead arm.”
CARDINALS 3, ASTROS 2
Kolten Wong smacked an RBI triple and Carlos Martinez moved to 3-0 for St. Louis. Martinez allowed two runs in five innings, and has a 1.38 ERA this spring.
Carlos Beltran had a single and an RBI for Houston, while top prospect Alex Bregman doubled and scored. Colin McHugh lasted just 1 2/3 innings and surrendered three runs.
PHILLIES 7, BLUE JAYS 1
Tommy Joseph belted a two-run homer and finished with four hits for the Phillies. Joseph is taking over full time for Ryan Howard at first base.
Russell Martin homered and Justin Smoak hit two doubles for Toronto. But Aaron Sanchez struggled on the mound, lasting just 3 1/3 innings while giving up five runs.
INDIANS 4, CUBS 3
Abraham Almonte homered for Cleveland, and Danny Salazar struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings. Edwin Encarnacion doubled and scored.
Willson Contreras went deep twice for the Cubs. Jon Lester allowed four runs in six innings.
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