MINNEAPOLIS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — On a day when everything went wrong in the DFW sports world, the Rangers received some relatively good news about their ace Yu Darvish.
After being scratched from his scheduled start against the Twins with neck stiffness, the team announced that tests on Darvish’s neck were “unremarkable”.
Darvish was taking medication and receiving treatment and reported improvement from earlier in the day. The date of his next start was still to be determined, depending on how he feels Wednesday.
The Rangers were hoping Darvish would be able to avoid the disabled list with his neck, which was stiff enough in spring training to keep him from pitching for nearly three weeks and delay his season debut by one start until April 6.
Scott Baker, who was a second-round draft pick by the Twins out of Oklahoma State in 2003, spent five seasons at the front of their rotation until an elbow injury forced Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in 2012. Baker pitched well against his former team, yielding just three hits and two runs over six innings of work (a no decision).
Whether he stays in the rotation this time will depend, of course, on Darvish’s status. The 27-year-old Japanese sensation is 4-2 in nine starts with a 2.35 ERA, the fourth-best in the league. He has 71 strikeouts in 61 1-3 innings.
“If he can pitch Sunday, I want him to pitch,” Washington said, acknowledging he’d prefer Darvish not have to swing the bat or run the bases with the Rangers playing an interleague series at Washington.
The Rangers will have to make a roster move Wednesday regardless, with left-hander Joe Saunders due to come off the disabled list and pitch against the Twins. Saunders has been out since April 4, when he was hit by a line drive on his left ankle in the fourth inning at Tampa Bay. Saunders suffered a stress fracture and made four rehabilitation starts in the minors this month.
“There’s no limit on Joe. The Minnesota Twins are going to tell us how limited he’s going to be,” Washington said.
The news was not as positive for the Dallas Cowboys, who saw their starting middle linebacker Sean Lee go down on the first day of OTAs. The often injured LB is likely lost for the season after suffering a severe knee injury.
Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder also underwent successful neck surgery on Tuesday morning, a move that likely ends his season.
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