Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes isn’t the only one making bold proclamations on the eve of the beginning of the regular season. Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo said of his Rangers team, per a report from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “We’re making the postseason. No question.”
Last year, the Rangers missed the postseason, finishing in third place in the AL West with a 78-84 record. They were just two games behind the second-place Angels but 23 games back of the eventual world champion Astros. With the Astros entering 2018 arguably stronger than they did last year, the Rangers may be looking at the Wild Card as their way to get into the postseason.
For what it’s worth, FanGraphs is projecting the Rangers to finish 79-83 while Baseball Prospectus has them at 75-87. The Rangers didn’t make too many additions during the offseason, but were able to add Doug Fister, Matt Moore, and Mike Minor into the starting rotation.
Choo, 35, is entering the fifth year of his seven-year, $130 million contract signed with the Rangers in December 2013. Last season, he hit .261/.357/.423 with 22 home runs, 78 RBI, and 96 runs scored in 636 plate appearances.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.