SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Yu Darvish threw off flat ground up to 100 feet on Saturday at Globe Life Park in Arlington and also threw 30 pitches off flat ground. It was the first time the Rangers ace, who has been dealing with a stiff neck for more than a week, has thrown since trying to play catch on Monday.
Darvish was officially placed on the disabled list Sunday. It was backdated to March 21, so the first day he's eligible to come off it is April 5.
He threw a 32-pitch bullpen session Sunday without issues and will resume his throwing program Tuesday. The team said in a statement that he reported "feeling strong with no physical issues."
Darvish was scratched from his Opening Day start after experiencing neck stiffness near the end of spring training. He thought it would go away after a few days, but it didn't and the decision was made to be sure everything was OK and then ramp him up again. An MRI on Wednesday showed no structural damage.
With Darvish out, Tanner Scheppers is getting the start on Monday. He's the first pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 to make his first big league start on Opening Day. Scheppers was in the bullpen as a setup man last year before shifting to the rotation this season.
Darvish finished runner-up in the Cy Young balloting in 2014 and made 32 starts, pitching 209 2/3 innings. He also threw 191 1/3 innings in 2012, his first season.