The Texas Rangers’ rotation is starting to take shape as they head into the All-Star break, and a key question, especially among the Japanese media, is if Yu Darvish would be available to pitch in the All-Star Game if selected to the American League team.
Darvish is scheduled to pitch Wednesday at Cleveland and either Monday or Tuesday at Globe Life Park against Boston. July 6 is an off day, meaning that Darvish’s ensuing start could be July 9.
That’s a Sunday, the final day of the first half and two days before the All-Star Game. If Darvish were to pitch Sunday and be selected either by player voting or by the league, he could either skip the game or commit to toss one inning or 20 pitches.
Another possibility is that his start, whether Monday or Tuesday, is his last of the first half as the Rangers try to give him a breather on each side of the Midsummer Classic.
The teams will be announced Sunday.
“If I’m selected to be in the All-Star Game, that would be great and I would be honored,” Darvish said. “At the same time, if you don’t participate, it’s important for players to get rest in the season.”
Darvish will start against the Indians on normal rest despite leaving his start Friday because of triceps tightness. He threw only 18 pitches in his bullpen session Monday, but otherwise said he had a normal week.
Andrew Cashner was announced as the starter in the finale Thursday, and Cole Hamels and Tyson Ross will pitch Saturday and Sunday at Chicago. However, the starter for the Friday opener against former Rangers pitcher Derek Holland is to be determined.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx or Nick Martinez are the two candidates, but with a shortage of available relievers in the bullpen, both are serving as relievers and manager Jeff Banister is hesitant to name either for the start.
Martin Perez (right thumb) could come of the disabled list Monday to start against Boston or the next day if the Rangers keep Darvish on normal rest. Perez threw a bullpen session Tuesday.