Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish was placed on the disabled list yesterday with right elbow inflammation, but the good news is that it’s not considered serious.
According to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, Darvish underwent tests today which showed that the inflammation is mild. Team physician Keith Meister said there’s no indication that this is a long-term issue which will require surgery, but Darvish won’t be cleared to resume throwing until the soreness subsides. And so, it’s unclear whether he will pitch again this season, but there’s no real sense of urgency since the Rangers have the worst record in the majors.
“I want to go out there and compete, but I also think about the long-term situation,” Darvish said. “I don’t want to go out there and risk my future. I don’t want my elbow to be aggravated.”
Darvish has been on the DL in each of his three seasons with the Rangers. A Major League Baseball season is harder on pitchers than what he experienced in Japan Darvish said.
“It’s evident because of so many injuries we have in Major League Baseball,” Darvish said.
Darvish, 27, has compiled a 3.06 ERA and 182/49 K/BB ratio in 144 1/3 innings this season. He’s owed $31 million over the next three seasons, a sum which has the potential to prove as a major bargain if he can remain healthy.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.