As noted by Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, right-hander Yu Darvish is scheduled to make his first MLB start on April 9 at home against the Mariners.
The Rangers revealed their season-opening rotation on Thursday, pegging Colby Lewis for Opening Day (April 6) against the White Sox. He will be followed by Derek Holland and Matt Harrison in that three-game series vs. Chicago before Darvish kicks things off against Seattle. Neftali Feliz will go fifth.
Darvish agreed to a six-year, $60 million contract in January after the Rangers paid a $51,703,411 posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters for his exclusive negotiating rights. The 6-foot-5 hurler posted a 1.44 ERA and 276/36 K/BB ratio in 232 innings last season in Japan. He has a 3.00 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 10/7 K/BB ratio in nine Cactus League innings this spring.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.