There has been speculation that Yu Darvish would be placed on the disabled list due to stiffness in his neck that caused him to be scratched on Tuesday at Minnesota's Target Field. On Thursday, Rangers manager Ron Washington gave fantasy owners the good news they were hoping for in that the right-hander is scheduled to throw on Sunday. Washington went onto say that this is something that Darvish dealt with in spring training. The right-hander woke up with a stiff neck Tuesday and felt better after treatment, but he was taken for a precautionary MRI anyway. He told the team that the symptoms were similar to what he felt in mid-March, when he didn't pitch for a few weeks as his neck healed. Darvish is 4-2 with a 2.35 ERA in nine starts this season.
MLB NEWS & NOTES
Felix Hernandez threw 8 2/3 innings of 1-run ball Wednesday in a 3-1 victory over the Angels. King Felix had no-hit stuff all night as he retired the first nine Angels he faced on Wednesday night. Hernandez was close to a complete game, but he allowed a two-out single to Mike Trout, who scored on Albert Pujols' double. At 116 pitches, Hernandez's night was over and Fernando Rodney got the easy three-pitch, one-out save. Hernandez is now 7-1 record with a 2.57 ERA and will face the Yankees next week.
George Springer belted his ninth home run of the season Wednesday in the Astros' defeat of the Royals. It was Springer's 6th home run in his last six games and this one was a two-run shot in the top of the first inning off Danny Duffy. Springer is now batting .269 with nine homers and 27 RBI over his first 37 major league games.
Josh Donaldson was 2-for-4 on Wednesday night with a three-run, a walk-off homer off Joe Nathan. Donaldson now has 13 homers on the year to go along with 41 RBI, numbers that put him top seven in the American League in both categories. The Athletics improved to 32-21 and continue to lead the AL West.
Jason Kipnis (oblique) went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his return to the lineup Wednesday. More important than going hitless, Kipnis was able to play all nine innings in his first game back from the disabled list.
- The American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) said in a position statement on Wednesday saying that pitchers that throw at 100 percent effort and at higher velocity are at greater risk of suffering the type of elbow injuries that lead to Tommy John surgery. The statement drafted by Dr. Glenn Fleisig, research director of the ASMI, addressed several misconceptions about elbow injuries and included nine recommendations to help prevent what it called the "epidemic" of ulnar collateral ligament injuries among professional pitchers. There have been 20 major league pitchers since the beginning of 2014 to undergo Tommy John surgery. Some of the factors include pitching among adolescents and fatigue both contribute strongly to elbow injuries at an early age, pitching for multiple teams, pitching year-round, playing catcher when not pitching, poor pitching mechanics, and poor physical conditioning all contribute to elbow injuries. In the ASMI research, the investigators have not found a strong connection between throwing the curveball and elbow injuries.
- The two teams with the current longest winning streaks in are the Toronto Blue Jays with 9 straight victories and the Houston Astros with 5. The Astros remain in last place in the AL West and ten games below .500, but the five straight wins in the longest winning streak of the season. As for the Blue Jays, they sit atop the AL East and should remain a factor all season.
Hunter Pence's now famous scooter has been returned to the right-fielder. Pence said the customized motor scooter that he rides a few blocks to every home game was returned to police at AT&T Park during the Giants 5-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday afternoon. Everyone in the bay area can rest easy now after it had been stolen last Sunday outside a waterfront restaurant. Pence thanked all the fans for their help in searching for the scooter and since he had already bought a new scooter he may put the stolen scooter up for auction for money to be donated to a local charity in San Francisco.