Yu Darvish says he hasn’t decided on move to MLB

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Most signs point to Japanese ace Yu Darvish making the jump from Nippon Professional Baseball to Major League Baseball at some point this winter.

But to hear the right-hander tell it, on a personal blog no less, he has not completely made up his mind.

And probably won’t for a couple more weeks.

From Patrick Newman of the invaluable NPB Tracker comes this translation of a Darvish-penned blog post, dated October 19, 2011:

Articles saying “Confirmed: Darvish to the Majors!” have been appearing since yesterday.

As I mentioned on Twitter

Nothing is decided!!

I haven’t decided anything for myself so nothing can be confirmed.(^_^;)

It was an article from the Kyodo News, but what did they base their writing on?

You can say this is freedom of press, but with freedom comes responsibility.

I want a press that takes responsibility.

Every year, when I haven’t decided anything, they write “Majors this, Majors that”, but then when I don’t go they just make up excuses.

How did they write lies and escape responsibility?

Well, after the entire schedule is over, I will carefully think it over!

As soon as I decide I will let everyone know(^^)v

In other words, there will be no concrete decision until after the NPB schedule has concluded (at the end of this month). And even then, the 25-year-old emoticon aficionado still has some pros and cons to weigh.

We’d guess that Darvish will eventually chase the big bucks that will be available to him on this year’s shallow major-league free agent pitching market. The Blue Jays, Rangers, Yankees and others have already done quite a bit of advanced scouting and are surely preparing bids. But there are no definites yet.

Darvish, a 6-foot-5 starter from Osaka, entered the 2011 season with a 1.81 career ERA and 9.2 career K/9 in Japan’s top league. He’s been just as good this year, even improving that already-lofty strikeout rate.

Brewers claim Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.

Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.

With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below: