Rangers ace Yu Darvish will have season-ending Tommy John surgery

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Yu Darvish sought three opinions on his sprained elbow ligament and they all recommended Tommy John surgery, so the Rangers ace will go under the knife next week. Dr. James Andrews will do the honors.

He’ll miss the entire season, but the hope is that by choosing the surgery now rather than attempting the rest-and-rehab route Darvish will be back early in 2016 and perhaps even by Opening Day. He’s dealt with elbow problems since last season, when he spent the final six weeks on the disabled list.

Darvish has been fantastic since signing a six-year, $56 million deal with the Rangers in 2012, going 39-25 with a 3.27 ERA in 545 innings while holding opponents to a .216 batting average and posting a strikeout rate of 11.2 per nine innings that ranks as the highest in baseball among starters.

Texas had the worst record in the league last season as injuries wrecked the roster on the way to 95 losses and Darvish being knocked out for the year is a major blow to the Rangers’ hopes of returning to contention. He’s signed through 2017.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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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.