Yu Darvish is back.
Yes, you heard me correctly. Manager Ron Washington dropped a bomb on us all when he announced in his pre-game press conference that Yu Darvish would be the Rangers starter Sunday against Tampa Bay.
He is eligible to return from the disabled list on April 5, and will start the next day.
“We’re going to go ahead and slide Darvish in on Sunday” said Wash.” “We’re very happy with what we saw yesterday. We’re very happy with his recovery to date. So we’re going to go ahead and put him in there and watch him go for the next thirty ballgames. Maybe even get thirty-one.”
On March 25, Darvish left spring training and returned to Dallas to be examined by a back specialist after experiencing a stiff neck. The results revealed that Darvish would be fine after rest, and most expected him to return sometime mid-April.
After throwing 86 pitches in the bullpen yesterday, it became apparent that Darvish would be making a start soon, we just didn’t know how soon. Washington was impressed with the performance his ace gave in this session, and knew he was ready to return.
“He’s still strong as an ox,” Washington said. “He was darting up gnats around home plate. You know how small a gnat is, and he was knocking them down.”
Washington went on to say that the rotation will continue as scheduled, with Joe Saunders taking the mound Friday in Tampa Bay, and rookie Nick Martinez getting his first start Saturday. After Darvish’s return Sunday, Tanner Scheppers, Martin Perez and Robbie Ross will take the mound against Boston. Washington wouldn’t comment on the rotation after the road trip.