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.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.