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Rangers Praying That Yu Darvish Injury Not Serious
The Texas Rangers finished 67-95 last season, the worst record in the American League. That was largely because the team was so injury-prone -- it had more total days used on the disabled list by far than any other club. Like every team in spring training, the Rangers are optimistic for this season but already a potentially big injury has hit the team.
Ace pitcher Yu Darvish lasted only one inning in his first spring outing of the season on Thursday due to triceps tightness. For now the team is saying it's “not serious.” The Rangers termed the move “precautionary” and said he would be re-evaluated on Friday. Darvish missed the last seven weeks of the 2014 season with right elbow inflammation.
Darvish threw 12 pitches in a scoreless first inning, but only one was over 90 mph. Darvish said he felt a little bit of tightness during his warm-up session. The feeling didn’t abate in the first inning, nor did it get worse.
“I don’t really think it’s anything to worry about,” Darvish said, through an interpreter, shortly after the outing. “I commanded my pitches. I didn’t throw hard. I worked on my location. It reminded me that location is more important than velocity.”
Although Darvish appeared genuinely relaxed and unmoved by the turn of events, it can’t help but make Rangers management and the coaching staff squirm ever so slightly at the thought of the injury being something more severe. An All-Star each of his first three seasons, Darvish was 10-7 with a 3.06 ERA last year before being shut down. He also missed the end of spring training and the start of last season with neck stiffness.
“I’m not nervous. Any time you have soreness you have to evaluate whether it’s normal soreness or if it’s more than that. I’m not going to put it in any one category,” new manager Jeff Banister said. “The health of those guys are our priority. It’s early in camp. We’ll treat the situation as it is right now. It’s precautionary and we’ll know more information tomorrow. We don’t want to risk anything at this point.”
Darvish is the second Rangers starter to have a physical issue. Derek Holland has been sidelined for the past week with soreness in his left shoulder. Holland is also expected to be examined on Friday. He missed most of last season after injuring his knee while tripping over his dog at home.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is full-go with his left knee, and he expects to be ready to play in a Cactus League game early next week. Andrus has been sidelined with a mild case of tendinitis, but he's taking batting practice and going through all of his fielding drills. So far, his absence from the lineup has been referred to as a precautionary measure.
Texas is a +1800 long shot to win the AL pennant on Sportsbook.ag. They are +600 fourth favorites to win the AL West Division. Darvish is given an over/under wins total of 13.5, with both options at -115.
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