Yu Darvish is cutting his delivery short which is contributing to the shoulder soreness that has landed him on the disabled list, Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail said.
Darvish joined the team in St. Louis so that Brocail and others could work with him on finishing his follow through and allowing his right arm to stop naturally.
He’s slowing down his arm instead of letting his body do it naturally.
Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail
“I know that’s what is causing the soreness,” Brocail said. “He’s slowing down his arm instead of letting his body do it naturally.”
Darvish was placed on the disabled list June 13 (retroactive to June 9) with right shoulder discomfort. He’s eligible to return June 24.
Right-hander Nick Martinez will start Saturday against the Cardinals in the spot vacated by Darvish. Martinez pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief in Oakland on Wednesday, allowing no runs on three hits. It’ll be his first start in the majors this season. He’s treating the 45-pitch outing against the A’s as his pre-start bullpen session.
“I think my scheduled start was a day before that but to get it matched up with what Darvish, [Wednesday] would have been his bullpen day so it ended up working out.”
Martinez said the strong outing helped his confidence. In his first and only other appearance with the Rangers on April 23 he allowed one run on one hit and two walks in 1/3 of an inning.
“I feel ready to go,” he said. “It’s definitely reassuring. It got me back in the big league atmosphere. It doesn’t matter how many times you go up but that first outing there’s obviously butterflies still there and you always want to leave a good impression and I think that outing did that for me.”
In Triple A, he said, he has worked on simplifying his delivery.
“Just making it easier to repeat with all my pitches,” he said.
Kela off mound
Reliever Keone Kela will throw off a mound June 24 in his first full bullpen session, Brocail said. The right-hander has been on the disabled list since April 20 with a right elbow impingement. He was eligible to come off the DL Friday. Kela is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment if all goes well on June 24.
Wilhelmsen turns down $1.8 million
Rangers right-handed reliever Tom Wilhelmsen has forfeited about $1.8 million left on his contract after declining an assignment to Triple A Round Rock Friday.
Wilhelmsen was optioned Tuesday and cleared waivers Friday. It was the second time he had been optioned to Round Rock this season. He was sent down on May 16 and pitched well with the RoughRiders before being recalled June 4.
He allowed 25 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings with the Rangers.
“It’s unusual to see a guy walk from money but I respect his conviction and his priorities. I’m sorry it didn’t work out here,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “He’s a good guy and we wish him luck.”
Wilhelmsen is scheduled to work out for clubs in Arizona soon, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Wilhelmsen was acquired from the Mariners along with James Jones and a player later determined to be outfielder Pat Kivlehan in November for Leonys Martin and Anthony Bass. James Jones is hitting .248 with 16 RBI in 58 games for the Express. Kivlehan was designated for assignment on May 23 and later traded back to the Mariners for minor league right-hander Justin De Fratus.
Griffin throws Sunday
Right-hander A.J. Griffin is scheduled to make his third rehab start Sunday for Double A Frisco. He’s expected to throw about 75 pitches. He has been on the DL with right shoulder stiffness since May 8. Depending on how he feels, Griffin could make a fourth rehab start before rejoining the Rangers.
The Rangers agreed to terms with their seventh round draft pick, Phoenix-area high school catcher Sam Huff. The club has signed 13 of their top 14 picks and 27 of their 40 overall.