Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2017 season. Next up: The Texas Rangers. The Rangers somehow won the AL West last year despite not being super great at any one aspect of the game. There are stars here — Adrian Beltre, Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish and Rougned Odor are all spiffy players — but the Rangers won the division by being greater than the sum of their parts. They scored a decent number of runs despite some bad collective peripheral numbers and they allowed more runs than anyone in the AL except the Twins and Athletics. Yet they had
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.
For 676 days, from the time he underwent shoulder surgery May 21, 2015, until Monday, Hyun-Jin Ryu resided in limbo within the Dodgers organization. He was either too unsound to pitch or too unreliable to be trusted. He entered this spring still in that state, as a wild card in a crowded field vying for the final spots in the starting rotation. On Monday, after Ryu gave up three runs on two home runs in five innings of a 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox, Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts removed Ryu from shoulder-related purgatory. Barring a setback in the next week, Ryu will break camp as a member of the rotation for the first time since 2014. “We feel that a healthy Hyun-Jin is a good thing,” Roberts