From Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram comes word that the Rangers have placed right-handed starter Yu Darvish on the 15-day disabled list with a slight strain in his right trapezuis muscle.
The Rangers are confident that the shoulder injury isn’t serious and expect Darvish to be ready for activation almost as soon as his 15 days are up. He will obviously have to drop out of the All-Star Game.
Darvish, 26, has posted a 3.02 ERA and 1.05 WHIP across 18 starts this season, fanning a whopping 157 batters in 119 1/3 innings. He allowed five runs over six innings last Saturday against the Astros in his worst start of 2013.
Texas entered play on Wednesday with a half-game deficit behind the A’s in the AL West standings.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.