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.
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.