Yu Darvish

Ron Washington expects Yu Darvish back in the Rangers’ rotation on August 25

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Rangers manager Ron Washington expects starter Yu Darvish to rejoin the Rangers’ rotation when he’s first eligible on August 25, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Darvish went on the disabled list on Thursday retroactive to August 11 with inflammation in his right elbow.

There was some concern that Darvish could miss the rest of the season, but it seems that Washington doesn’t share that concern.

“It’s our intention he will pitch again,” Washington said about Darvish’s season. “I expect him to pitch for us on [August] the 25th. I have no indication that it would be more than 15 days. Let’s let the process work and see where it goes.”

Darvish has taken a more long-term view. He told the media that if returning to pitch this season is “going to risk my elbow for the future, I’m not going to take the risk.”

The 27-year-old right-hander was in the midst of another great season before the injury halted his momentum. He has a 3.06 ERA with a 182/49 K/BB ratio in 144 1/3 innings. Robbie Ross started in his place last night and was shelled by the Rays, allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings. Ross was optioned to Triple-A earlier today. The Rangers plan to skip over the #5 spot in the rotation as the club has off days on Monday and Thursday.

Yordano Ventura killed in an auto accident

CLEVELAND, OH -  JUNE 2:  Starting pitcher Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals jokes with teammates as he walks off the field after the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on June 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.

Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.

Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.

Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.

Report: Tim Lincecum is not ready for retirement

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 29, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).

Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.

While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.