The latest on Yu Darvish and his Opening Day start

03/23/2014 12:29 PM

11/12/2014 4:20 PM

Yu Darvish reported feeling better Sunday morning, two days after being scratched from his scheduled minor league start with neck stiffness.

But Darvish is not expected to pitch again in a Cactus League game and contingency plans have been discussed if he’s not ready by Opening Day. For now, though, the Rangers expect Darvish to make his March 31 start against the Phillies.

“Until they tell us there is a cause for concern, he’ll be on the mound Opening Day,” assistant general manager Thad Levine said.

Said manager Ron Washington: “We still got a little time so hopefully in a couple days this issue he has clears up.”

If Darvish were to stay in line, he would start Wednesday but Washington said that isn’t going to happen. Colby Lewis is starting in the Rangers’ Cactus League finale and there is scheduling issues for Darvish to throw in a minor league game.

So Washington said he expects Darvish to throw an extended bullpen and then pitch an inning or two in one of the Rangers’ exhibition games in San Antonio. That would be enough for Darvish to stay on track for Opening Day.

However, Washington and his staff have discussed alternative plans but wasn’t ready to reveal them publicly.

“I’m not giving that up yet because I don’t want to get no one else excited,” Washington said.

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