Yu Darvish was shut down prematurely in 2014 due to inflammation in his pitching elbow, but he’s had a fairly normal offseason and should be 100 percent heading into the opening of the 2015 campaign.
Darvish was cleared to begin a throwing program in December and Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth-Star Telegram reports that the right-hander has now progressed to sessions of long-toss in Arlington, Texas. There hasn’t even been a hint of a setback.
Darvish was limited to 144 1/3 innings last year but registered a stellar 3.06 ERA and 11.3 K/9. The 28-year-old boasts a 3.27 ERA (127 ERA+) and 11.2 K/9 in 545 1/3 career major league frames.
He should be the Rangers’ Opening Day starter on April 6 against the Athletics.
On Friday evening, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced the first set of results for COVID-19 testing as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics are not part of this data because their testing has not yet been completed.
There were 38 positive tests, accounting for 1.2% of the 3,185 samples collected and tested. 31 of the 38 individuals who tested positive are players. 19 different teams had one or more individuals test positive.
Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri notes that the positive test rate in the U.S. nationally is 8.3 percent. The NBA’s positive test rate was 7.1 percent. MLB’s positive test rate is well below average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with MLB’s testing or that it’s an atypical round of testing. Rather, MLB’s testing population may more closely represent the U.S. population as a whole. Currently, because testing is still somewhat limited, those who have taken tests have tended to be those exhibiting symptoms or those who have been around others who have tested positive. If every single person in the U.S. took a test, the positive test rate would likely come in at a much lower number.
Several players who tested positive have given their consent for their identities to be made known. Those are: Delino DeShields (link), Brett Martin (link), Edward Colina, Nick Gordon, and Willians Astudillo (link). Additionally, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez has not shown up to Red Sox camp yet because he has been around someone who tested positive, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.