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.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.