The Rangers received devastating news over the weekend when ace right-hander Yu Darvish was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. It appears that season-ending Tommy John surgery could be in his future, but assistant general manager Thad Levine told AJ Cassavell of MLB.com that they will wait to announce a plan on Wednesday.
Darvish was scheduled to fly to New York today and will get a second opinion on his elbow from Dr. David Altcheck on Tuesday. He’ll then discuss the situation with the Rangers before a decision is made.
Timing is critical here. If Darvish tries to rehab the injury and ends up having Tommy John surgery anyway, he would be at risk for not only missing all of 2015, but also all of 2016. That’s a pretty big risk with no guarantee of a payoff. It would be a surprise if he doesn’t just go ahead and have the surgery now.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.
The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.
Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.