Monday, March 24, 2014

Yu Darvish (neck) doubtful for Opening Day

Whether or not staff ace Yu Darvish (neck) will be ready for Opening Day is unclear at this point.

T.R. Sullivan of writes: "Darvish played catch on Monday but is still dealing with a stiff neck. The Rangers aren’t sure when he’ll get back on the mound and it appears more questionable if he’ll be ready for Opening Day. General manager Jon Daniels said it wouldn’t be the end of the world if Darvish gets pushed back."

The Rangers open the season with a series against the Phillies that begins on Monday, March 31st.

In his second season with the Rangers, Darvish finished second behind Max Scherzer in A.L. Cy Young voting with a 13-9 record, 2.83 ERA (fourth-best in AL) and league-best 277 strikeouts.

Darvish is ranked second in my 2014 starting pitcher fantasy baseball rankings behind only Clayton Kershaw.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jurickson Profar (shoulder) to miss 10-12 weeks

Trading Ian Kinsler to the Tigers for first baseman Prince Fielder in the offseason opened up door for Jurickson Profar to become the Rangers' everyday second baseman.

Unfortunately, someone other than Profar will be manning second base for the Rangers for the first few months of the season.

According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Profar will be sidelined for 10 to 12 weeks with a torn muscle in his shoulder although the injury won't require surgery.

Per T.R. Sullivan of, Josh Wilson is the leading candidate to replace him, although they will consider other options, such as Adam Rosales, Brent Lillibridge and Kensuke Tanaka (both of whom can be recalled from the minors) and top prospect Rougned Odor.

Turning 21 years old in February, Profar was Baseball America's top prospect after the 2012 season. This spring, Profar was hitting .222 with two homers and 11 runs batted in.

Max Scherzer rejects "substantial, long-term" offer from Tigers

Detroit Tigers starter Max Scherzer rejected a "substantial, long-term contract offer" from the team, according to team's Twitter feed.

In addition, the Tigers official statement indicates there will be "no further in-season negotiations" with Scherzer, who is due to become a free agent after the 2014 season.

Last year, Scherzer won the A.L. Cy Young award with a 21-3 record, 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts in 214.1 innings. Scherzer led the league in wins and WHIP (0.970) and finished second in K/9 (10.078) behind Yu Darvish (11.890) after leading the league in 2012 with an 11.1 K/9 rate.

Scherzer is my SP7 in my 2014 fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Joakim Soria named Rangers' closer

The Texas Rangers have named Joakim Soria as the team's closer, per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Manager Ron Washington says (via T.R. Sullivan of that Soria won the job due to "[h]is consistency and his … experience in closing down ballgames."

Before missing 2012 (Tommy John surgery), Soria notched 160 saves with the Royals from 2007 to 2011. In his five seasons with the Royals, Soria had a 2.40 ERA, 1.043 WHIP and struck out 341 batters in 315.1 innings pitched.

In addition to Soria being named closer, Alexi Ogando will be the set-up man and Tanner Scheppers has earned a spot in the rotation.

On the other hand, Neftali Feliz is "competing for a spot" in the Rangers' bullpen.

So far this spring, Soria has yet to allow an earned run in 7.0 innings and has allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out five batters. Meanwhile, Feliz has a 4.50 ERA and opponents are hitting .324 against him this spring.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kris Medlen to have Tommy John surgery on Tuesday

The early expectations (or fears) were that Braves starter Kris Medlen would need Tommy John surgery after leaving his March 9th start with what was initially described as a forearm strain.

Today, that was confirmed.

Medlen will will undergo Tommy John surgery tomorrow, per's Mark Bowman.

In a message to fans thanking them for their support, Medlen said that he will "approach this process with the same drive that I’ve had my entire life and will do everything I can to come back from this “thing” twice."

Meanwhile, Brandon Beachy will be evaluated further in L.A., but the expectation is that he will also need Tommy John surgery.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Braves sign Ervin Santana to one-year deal

Earlier this morning, the Braves annouced via Twitter that they have signed Ervin Santana to a one-year deal.

Per ESPN, the deal is worth approximately $14 million.

Especially considering the injuries to the team's rotation, adding the best available free-agent pitcher makes a ton of sense.

Kris Medlen, the expected Opening Day starter, left his last start with what could be a season-ending injury, but he is still being evaluated.

In addition, Mike Minor may also begin the season on the disabled list and Brandon Beachy left Monday's start with elbow/forearm tightness.

With the Royals last season, Santana was 9-10 with a career-best 3.24 ERA and struck out 161 batters in 211 innings pitched.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Kris Medlen (forearm) leaves start early, to have MRI Monday

In the fourth inning of today's spring training game against the Mets, Braves starter Kris Medlen left the game early with what is being called a right forearm strain.

That said, there is the potential that it is a serious injury for Medlen, who had Tommy John surgery back in 2010.

Medlen will have an MRI and be evaluated by the team's orthopedist on Monday, per's Mark Bowman.

As Bowman notes, Medlen's initial reaction today after throwing the pitch that led to the injury was similar to his reaction from 2010 before he needed Tommy John surgery.

"He wasn't in good spirits [initially]," [Braves manager Fredi] Gonzalez said. "But after he got settled down a little bit and the trainers looked at him a little bit and the Mets doctors looked at him, I think he was in better spirits."

In 43 starts since July 31, 2012, Medlen has an ERA of 2.47, which is second only to Clayton Kershaw (1.80) during that span.

Hopefully, the news for Medlen tomorrow is better than it appeared, but it looks like there is a good chance that Medlen will begin the season on the disabled list. Not only could the Braves be without Medlen to start the season, but Mike Minor is hoping to be ready by the end of the second week of the regular season.