Yu Darvish scratched from start with neck injury

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Rangers ace Yu Darvish has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start against the Twins with neck stiffness.

Darvish began the season on the disabled list with a neck injury, but ended up missing just one start and has been his usual fantastic self with a 2.35 ERA and 71/19 K/BB ratio in 61 innings spread over nine starts for Texas.

That includes a near no-hitter versus the Red Sox on May 9 and Quality Starts in each of his past four outings dating back to May 4. Darvish has allowed more than three runs in a start just once all season and has thrown at least six innings in eight of his nine starts as well.

Scott Baker is expected to make tonight’s start in Darvish’s place, matching up against his old team after spending the first eight seasons of his career in Minnesota.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus¬†last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.