The Texas Rangers' spring training began on a sour note when infielder Jurickson Profar was lost for the year with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Now the Rangers are dealing with a possible season-ending elbow injury to ace Yu Darvish. Darvish was diagnosed with a sprained UCL on Saturday.
Darvish will seek a second opinion before deciding whether to have season-ending Tommy John surgery. Even if Darvish doesn't have surgery, he is expected to need at least four months rehabbing the sprain.
Darvish missed the final two months of last season with elbow inflammation. The Rangers had hoped that rest and rehab would be enough for Darvish to return to full strength in 2015. Since coming to the US in 2012, Darvish has a 3.27 ERA in 545.1 innings. He has 680 strike-outs and only 7.2 hits per nine innings during his three major-league seasons. Darvish has been an AL All-Star all three seasons.
The Rangers have a deep farm system and could go after a replacement for Darvish via a trade. Cole Hamels would be a good fit for Texas. However, the Rangers weren't considered strong contenders for a playoff spot going into this season, and they may not want to throw away future stars for another potentially lost season.