Yu Darvish unlikely to make Opening Day start due to neck injury

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Texas hasn’t officially changed its Opening Day plans yet, but T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Yu Darvish is unlikely to make his Game 1 start because of a stiff neck.

For now general manager Jon Daniels is saying the Rangers could simply push back Darvish’s start, basically moving him to the end of the rotation, which wouldn’t require placing him on the disabled list.

Darvish was initially scratched from his scheduled start Friday when he woke up with a stiff neck and … well, basically every piece of injury news for the Rangers has been a bummer lately, so this fits. Texas was already beginning the season without Derek Holland and Matt Harrison in the rotation.

Despite dealing with back and hip problems last season Darvish was fantastic for the Rangers, starting 32 games and logging 210 innings with a 2.83 ERA and MLB-leading 277 strikeouts.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.