The Rangers have finally received some good injury news. The team announced that tests performed by Dr. Keith Meister on Yu Darvish's neck showed no structural damage. He will play catch on Saturday before a rehab plan is hatched, and he will open the season on the DL.
Darvish, 27, was scratched from a start with a stiff neck last week, an injury he attributed to sleeping on it wrong. He said he only expected to miss two or three days, but he will instead miss his scheduled opening day start. Darvish pitched through a nerve problem in his lower back last season.
In 32 starts and 209 2/3 innings last season, Darvish went 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA (145 ERA+) and led baseball in both strikeouts (277) and strikeout rate (11.9 K/9). That earned him a second place finish in the AL Cy Young voting.
The Rangers have lost Derek Holland (knee), Jurickson Profar (shoulder), Joe Ortiz (foot) and Geovany Soto (foot) until at least midseason. Darvish, Matt Harrison (back) and Elvis Andrus (elbow) are dealing with shorter term injuries.
Texas opens its season Monday at home against the Phillies.