While a pitcher's arm is a precious commodity, position players deal with issues as well. Shin-Soo Choo and Alex Rios have played through sprained ankles of late. Choo has dealt with that ailment since April. Choo also played through a bone spur in his left elbow; the pain finally became too great, so he’s set to undergo season-ending surgery.
You should have seen Elvis Andrus on Sunday before the Rangers headed for Seattle. The Rangers' starting shortstop had both wrists wrapped in ice. Pitchers regularly walk around the clubhouse with ice packs strapped to their arms -- it's all a part of baseball.
Darvish could have handled things differently regarding his stint on the disabled list.
Instead of electing to go on the DL, he probably should have asked for some rest -- because the Rangers would have given it to him. General manager Jon Daniels made the correct call in sitting Darvish, but perhaps the ace should have delayed the DL process a little bit.
Darvish most likely would miss two to three starts before being asked to do anything. If he was still having issues, then he would have been placed on the DL.
Darvish going on the shelf without waiting to see how he felt after a little time off raises some questions and some perception issues.
I look at left-hander Derek Holland's situation and his comments.
Holland could have taken the year off as he recovers from left knee surgery. But Holland has been consistent in his statements that he wants to pitch for his teammates, regardless of how the Rangers' season is going.
“I want to be out there for them,” Holland said.
Pitching injured and pitching through discomfort are two different things. Darvish is not injured. He’s got discomfort, and the Rangers are being cautious with the 28-year-old.
No problem with that.
I just wish Darvish had waited a little while before going on the DL, because you don’t want to come across as quitting on your team.
You could say the season doesn’t mean anything, so what’s the big deal?
You would be correct.
Manager Ron Washington disagrees with you, because the games will go on. Yes, you want to get a handle on younger players such as Tomas Telis, the rookie catcher who picked up his first big league hit Monday night in Seattle, but you also want to make sure the core of your team is committed long term.
Washington himself created a stir about Darvish when he said that everybody encounters inflammation, and that he expected the ace to return. Washington has backed tracked on these statements in recent days and Daniels says everybody is on the same page. Daniels said Monday if anybody had a problem with Darvish wanted to move to the DL they should have spoken up, then, not now.
Darvish is the best pitcher on this team and among the best in baseball. You don't want to place him at risk for further injury.
Darvish, I believe, is committed to the Rangers. I just wish his approach had been a little different.