T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com provides the scoop:
The Rangers have decided to not pitch Yu Darvish until after the All-Star break.
The Rangers have decided that Martin Perez will pitch on Friday and Derek Holland will pitch on Saturday against the Twins. Holland will be activated off the disabled list. The Rangers haven’t decided their second half rotation yet.
It’s not a health thing nor an endurance thing — Darvish threw over 230 innings last year in Japan.
It’s just a little extra rest for a guy who commanded a total commitment of $112 million this past winter.
Darvish has posted a cool 3.59 ERA and 1.36 WHIP through the first 16 starts of his major league career, fanning 117 batters and walking 53 in 102 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old native of Japan has all the weapons to be great, and the Rangers have to be pleased with their investment thus far. He is currently leading the American League All-Star team’s “Final Vote” balloting. David Freese is tops in the National League.
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.