For the first time last week, Yu Darvish didn’t get a decision in a start against the Oakland A’s. Considering he has a 1-6 record against them, a no-decision in a 4-3 Rangers win must have felt like a pitching victory.
But Darvish wants more. When the Texas Rangers were adjusting their rotation to accommodate an off day and the return of Matt Harrison, Darvish strongly suggested that he be given a chance to face Oakland on Monday in the opener of a quickie three-game homestand.
Never one to let his guard down, Darvish said that he is treating his next start like any other.
“The desire to win is the same against any team that I’m facing,” he said. “That goes the same with Oakland as well.”
The A’s scored three runs and collected eight hits and four walks in six innings April 21 against Darvish, who will be working on six days’ rest. Rather than feeling like he needs to alter his approach after facing the A’s so recently, Darvish might have struck on something at O.co Coliseum.
“Since I just faced them, I think it’ll be easier for me to plan my game strategy,” he said.
Waiting on Choo
The Rangers continue hope that Shin-Soo Choo can avoid the disabled list, so much so that they optioned shortstop Luis Sardinas to Double A Frisco on Sunday to create a roster spot for left-hander Matt Harrison to come off the DL rather than put Choo on the DL.
Major league rules give a team 10 days to backdate a move to the DL, and manager Ron Washington said that the Rangers are planning to max that out as they wait to see if Choo’s sprained left ankle will heal enough for him to be an option.
Choo was injured in the seventh inning April 21 at Oakland when he hit first base awkwardly while trying to beat out an infield hit. He resumed baseball activities Friday, and reported feeling better Sunday.
“We’ll probably take it as long as we can,” Washington said. “He took BP yesterday and looked pretty good. We’ll hang on a little longer and see how it goes. If we’ve got to make a move when we get back to Texas, we’ll make a move, but, right now, we want to give it a little more time.”
Michael Choice replaced Choo for the fifth consecutive game in left field and in the leadoff spot. The Rangers went 3-2 with Choice atop the lineup.
Though he was only 4 for 20, he drew five walks, drove in five runs and scored twice.
“He’s holding his own,” Washington said before the finale of the three-game series at Safeco Field. “He’s finding a way to get on the bases once or twice a game. Since we’ve put him in, we’ve only lost one game. I’m not complaining.”
Profar hitting soon
Second baseman Jurickson Profar will undergo an MRI on Tuesday in a follow-up exam on his torn right shoulder muscle, and he could begin swinging a bat if the MRI results are clean.
Profar was injured during the final weekend of spring camp in Surprise, Ariz., and hasn’t thrown a ball or swung since. He has done defensive work before games and has been working out regularly in the gym.
But he’s ready for something new to do.
“It’s a little bit boring, but I’m working hard every day to get back,” Profar said. “That’s a good thing. And we’re doing good. That’s a plus.”
Throwing will be the last thing Profar is allowed to do before beginning a medical rehabilitation assignment. The earliest he could return to the Rangers’ lineup is mid-June.