Yu Darvish expects to return to Rangers’ rotation Saturday

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Rangers ace Yu Darvish had to be scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday in Minnesota because of lingering stiffness in his neck, but he hasn’t been placed on the disabled list yet and could be ready by his next turn through the Texas starting rotation.

According to Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram, the right-hander played catch Wednesday and told reporters through an interpreter afterward that he expects to start this Saturday in Washington, D.C. against the host Nationals. Darvish underwent an MRI on his neck Tuesday after he was scratched and the results were called “unremarkable.”

The 27-year-old owns a 2.35 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 71 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings this season.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.