Yu Darvish will be skipped from his final first-half start

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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.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.