The Texas Rangers opened the 2014 MLB season with Tanner Scheppers on the mound and ended up losing the game 14-10. According to MLB.com on March 31, the man who was supposed to on the mound, Yu Darvish, is expected to return from injury very soon.
Darvish was placed on the disabled list due to stiffness in his neck. However, the trip to the DL was dated so that he can return as soon as this Saturday. Darvish pitched in throwing sessions twice over the weekend with no problems.
The Rangers' officials say that they will have Darvish work another throwing session on Tuesday and then meet after their game that night with the Philadelphia Phillies to determine what their plan is for Darvish.
If Darvish is not ready to come back by the weekend, rookie Nick Martinez will pitch his first ever MLB game in his place. Martinez has never pitched above Double A in his professional baseball career.
"We're just going to be smart about it," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Yu may miss one start, at a minimum, but we want to keep that number down."
With Scheppers starting on Opening Day, young Martin Perez starting the second game and a rookie possibly starting the fifth, the Rangers' pitching rotation looks like it is in trouble. However, help might be on the way.
Matt Harrison opened the season on the DL but will pitch Double-A ball on Thursday and Colby Lewis, a former World Series star for Texas, will start a Triple-A game on Tuesday. Harrison is expected to be in the minors for at least another month but Lewis could be called up next week if he looks good. Derek Holland had surgery in January and will be out for the first few months of the season.