ARLINGTON, Texas — Yu Darvish will return to the Texas Rangers rotation for Sunday’s series finale at Tampa Bay.
Darvish, who is on the disabled list with a stiff neck, threw 86 pitches Tuesday in a bullpen session and came out feeling good enough for the Rangers to put him back in the rotation.
"Once his neck wasn’t bothering him anymore we were seeing the same stuff we were seeing when we were down in Arizona," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He didn’t back up any. He threw a hefty bullpen yesterday and he came into day feeling good. We just feel like he’s ready to go."
Washington said he thinks Darvish will be around a 100-pitch limit in his Sunday start.
The Rangers haven’t decided what will happen with the rotation once Darvish returns. The club plans to push Tanner Scheppers back a day and he’ll start the series opener Monday in Boston. Martin Perez and Robbie Ross are also slated to start against the Red Sox.
Washington doesn’t think Darvish will be hampered by the layoff.
"He’s still strong as an ox," Washington said. "He still was darting up the gnats that were flying around home plate and you know how small a gnat is. He was knocking them down with consistency."
While the Rangers have settled on when Darvish returns, the club is still undecided on what’s next for Colby Lewis. The right-hander threw five innings for Double-A Frisco in an exhibition game Tuesday.
Left-hander Derek Holland also took a big stride in making his way back to the club. Holland threw off a mound for the first time since having microfracture surgery on his left knee in January.
Holland threw a 25-pitch bullpen. He will head to Arizona where he’s scheduled to throw again Saturday in Surprise.