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Darvish waiting for symptoms to clear

8/25/2014

ARLINGTON, Texas -- While not ruling the staff ace out for the season, Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Sunday that Yu Darvish won't return to the rotation until he's free of symptoms of inflammation in his right elbow.

The right-hander has missed three starts during his ongoing stint on the 15-day disabled list and will not make the first leg of a 10-day road trip the Rangers begin Monday in Seattle. Darvish's status for next weekend's visit to Houston is uncertain.

"He's really in the same spot, again," Daniels said. "No. 1 factor here is get the medical staff and have Yu completely symptom-free, completely clear MRI. I just think it doesn't make a lot of sense of letting him get back out there if there is any added risk. That's the position we're taking, and we'd all love to see him back out there for a variety of different reasons. We're not going to take any chances, that's my call, the organization's call. There is too much to lose for 2015 to risk an injury."

Darvish reported some arm discomfort following an Aug. 9 start in Houston, where he gave up six runs, five earned, in four innings of work. He threw 113 pitches. Darvish told team officials he wasn't hurt during that outing, but afterward the story was different.

He experienced severe pain while pitching in Japan in 2011, which cost him a start in spring training. Darvish didn't miss any more time after that. The 28-year-old described the current inflammation in his right elbow as mild.

With the Rangers out of the pennant chase, the situation led to questions about Darvish's commitment to the team. Manager Ron Washington noted that every player has inflammation during a season, and that missing games wasn't acceptable, adding that he wanted Darvish to return.

Washington later clarified his comments, saying he wasn't mocking his staff ace and that he didn't want Darvish to pitch if it meant he would hurt himself further.

The Rangers are shorthanded in the rotation with Darvish out.

Scott Baker pitched five innings Sunday in a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals, and the squad has an open spot at Houston on Friday. Baker could get the call again.

Derek Holland is scheduled to make his final rehab outing on Thursday, so he has been ruled out for a potential start with the big club this week. Holland will become a September call-up along with several other pitchers, possibly including Robbie Ross.

So for now, the Rangers wait to see if Darvish can recover from his arm issues and, if not, will continue with their current rotation of three pitchers in their mid 20s and one in their mid 30s: Miles Mikolas (26), Nick Tepesch (25), Nick Martinez (24) and veteran Colby Lewis (35).