T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com provides the scoop:
The Rangers have decided to not pitch Yu Darvish until after the All-Star break.
The Rangers have decided that Martin Perez will pitch on Friday and Derek Holland will pitch on Saturday against the Twins. Holland will be activated off the disabled list. The Rangers haven’t decided their second half rotation yet.
It’s not a health thing nor an endurance thing — Darvish threw over 230 innings last year in Japan.
It’s just a little extra rest for a guy who commanded a total commitment of $112 million this past winter.
Darvish has posted a cool 3.59 ERA and 1.36 WHIP through the first 16 starts of his major league career, fanning 117 batters and walking 53 in 102 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old native of Japan has all the weapons to be great, and the Rangers have to be pleased with their investment thus far. He is currently leading the American League All-Star team’s “Final Vote” balloting. David Freese is tops in the National League.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.