Yu Darvish will not start on Opening Day for the Rangers, as the right-hander has been scratched from his Game 1 assignment due to a neck injury.
Darvish woke up one morning with a stiff neck last week and had to miss his spring training start Friday. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that Darvish will be examined later this week by a neck and back specialist and as of now at least the Rangers are still hoping that he can avoid the disabled list.
If he does need a DL stint Darvish would be joining injured rotation-mates Matt Harrison and Derek Holland on the shelf, which unfortunately for the Rangers is extremely crowded with their pitchers and position players. They’re not even sure who’ll make the Opening Day start.
Braves manager Brian Snitker is hoping recently-signed starter Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut on Friday when the Braves open a 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. For now, the Braves have not officially named a starter for Friday.
After spending seven months as a free agent, Keuchel finally inked a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves on June 6. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.
Last year, his final season with the Astros, Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout rate.
Keuchel is hoping to continue the Braves’ momentum, as the club has won 9 of its last 10 games and is 12-3 overall in June thus far, building up a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.