Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on Wednesday that Texas Rangers All-Star pitcher Yu Darvish has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with slight strain of his right trapezius muscle.
According to the Rangers, the injury is very minor in nature and should only cost him one regular season start. Unfortunately, it also means Darvish will be unavailable to pitch in the All-Star Game next Tuesday at Citi Field.
Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine says, "At this stage, it's not something we are really worried about." He says the injury "was a little more fatigue than anything."
In a statement, Darvish said, "I don't think it's a big issue, but just as a precaution, I'd rather skip a start than push it through."
I guess the timing of the ailment — or fatigue — and the All-Star break works out well for the Rangers and their fans. For the rest of us, this is a bummer. Darvish is not only one of the most deserving All-Stars with his MLB leading 157 strikeouts, 3.02 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 119 1/3 innings, he's also one of the most fascinating to watch and one we'd like to see matched up against the likes of Joey Votto, Bryce Harper and Carlos Gonzalez.
The loss of a marquee name will obviously hurt the appeal of the All-Star Game, but that's pretty much what the period between the roster announcements and the game itself has become known for. Keeping track of who's in and who's out can actually be more difficult than attempting to keep score of the game. As someone who has stubbornly tried and failed year after year during my youth, just take my word on that.
Of course the Rangers main priority is keeping Darvish fresh and healthy for another big stretch run to the postseason. That's certainly understandable and very smart on their part — but man, it's just disappointing to hear Yu Darvish won't be there. Whoever gets the nod in his place — perhaps one of the relief pitchers not voted in during the Final Vote — simply cannot match the star power or create the same dynamic.
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