Darvish throws and feels fine

Yu Darvish threw long toss at Globe Life Park on Saturday and a 30-pitch flat ground session at Globe Life Park on Saturday. He will have another throwing session on Sunday with pitching coach Mike Maddux. Darvish said he felt fine with no problems but is still expected to start the season on the disabled list because of the stiffness in his neck that shut him down for the final two weeks of Spring Training.

Rangers claim catcher Chris Gimenez; designate Michael Kirkman for assignment

The Rangers have claimed catcher Chris Gimenez off waivers from Oakland and have designated pitcher Michael Kirkman for assignment. Gimenez was with the Athletics in Spring Training and has spent parts of five seasons with the Rays, Mariners and Indians. Kirkman will either be traded and sent through outright waivers to Triple A Round Rock.

Rangers announcements…Scheppers Martinez Hanson…many other announcements

The Rangers announced:

Tanner Scheppers is the Opening Day pitcher. The rest of the rotation is Martin Perez, Robbie Ross, Joe Saunders and…

Nick Martinez. He is going to fill Yu Darvish’s spot. He wasn’t in big league camp but he has pitched well in the Minors. He was an 18th round pick out of Fordham in 2011. The biggest surprise in camp.

The Rangers have released Tommy Hanson and signed Scott Baker to a Minor League contract. He will pitch at Round Rock.

Pedro Figueroa has been told he is on the club in the bullpen as the second lefthander

The Rangers have claimed infielder Donnie Murphy off waivers from the Cubs. They have also added Rule 5 draft pick Seth Rosin on a waiver claim from the Dodgers. He was taken from the Phillies and will get consideration for the bullpen. He is a 6-foot-6 RHP who was at Double A last year.

Murphy will be on the Opening Day roster in some capacity. The Rangers haven’t decided what role but he could be their Opening Day second baseman.

There are two spots still open in the bullpen behind Joakim Soria, Neal Cotts, Jason Frasor, Ogando and Figueroa.

Scheppers Named Opening Day Starting Pitcher

The Rangers have selected Tanner Scheppers as their Opening Day starter – he replaces Yu Darvish who has been having neck and back pain. They’ve also added Nick Martinez to the rotation – he will be the 5th starter.

Alexi Ogando joins the bullpen – which is the Rangers preferred position for him.

More on the website later.

Update on Darvish

Pitcher Yu Darvish was examined by Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas today. The Rangers were told that Darvish has no structural damage, that he can resume throwing on Saturday. When he returns to Surprise and starts throwing the Rangers will devise a plan for his return to the rotation.

More on the website later.

Rangers Claim IF Murphy

Reports out of Chicago say the Rangers have claimed IF Donnie Murphy off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. The Rangers have not announced anything about this waiver claim.

More on the website later.

Summing up a Big Day of Pitching…Rotation appears set…Bullpen in flux

Here is the state of the Rangers pitching…

Robbie Ross and Joe Saunders are in the rotation. Ross won a spot by a knockout and the Rangers need Saunders because he eats innings. They join Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez. If you go by Spring Training, Ross should be the Opening Day pitcher but it could be anybody.

If Yu Darvish goes on the disabled list, the Rangers will put Alexi Ogando back in the rotation. He was supposed to be in the bullpen but all bets are off now.

Right now the Rangers bullpen is built around closer Joakim Soria, left-hander Neal Cotts and right-hander Jason Frasor. Look for right-hander Shawn Tolleson to make the team. Ryan Freierabend and Pedro Figueroa are still in the hunt for a left-handed spot.

Soria and Ross tied for having the best spring of any Rangers pitcher, with Tanner Scheppers a close third.

The Rangers brought right-handed pitching prospect Nick Martinez to Goodyear. He pitched two scoreless innings. The Rangers are even looking at him to reinforce their bullpen.

Michael Kirkman is out of options but with the state of the Rangers pitching staff, he will likely make the team as a long reliever at least.

The Rangers will find out Wednesday what is going to happen with Tommy Hanson. He may go to the bullpen. He may take his free agency. He is not going to the rotation.

Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis still hoping to be back sometime in April. Derek Holland hopes to throw off a mound next week.

Neftali Feliz? Who knows. The road back is not over for him.

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