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Darvish in favor of six-man rotation

NEW YORK -- At the All-Star Game last week, Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish talked about having six-man pitching rotations as a means to stem the wave of recent arm injuries in baseball.

Discussions about six-man rotations have occurred more frequently this season in the wake of a multitude of players getting hurt and needing reconstructive elbow surgery. Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka, like Darvish a superstar in Japan before coming to Major League Baseball, was put on the disabled list July 9 with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow. If it doesn't heal with rest and rehab, there's the potential that Tanaka, a contender for AL Rookie of the Year, might need Tommy John surgery.

A surgery of that magnititude could wipe out Tanaka's 2015 season.

Darvish pitched once a week when he was in Japan and outside of a few nagging injuries to his neck and back, Darvish's arm has remained intact going every five days in three big leagues.

"I know if you have six starters, there will be other problems that it entails," Darvish said Monday before the Rangers took on the Yankees to begin a four-game series. "Since I've already said it, I’m not going to say it again."

Darvish wasn't expansive outside of that comment but at the All-Star Game he told reporters: "If you really want to protect players, we should add one more spot to the starting rotation."

To make that happen, rosters have to expand to add an extra starter and the players association in conjunction with the owners would have to agree to that.

On the season, Darvish is 9-5 with a 2.88 ERA. He’s had one start on nine days rest, two starts on six days rest, five on five days rest and another on eight days rest. He will make his 19th start of the season on four days rest, the ninth time that’s occurred this year.