Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn't easy. It's okay, though, we're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end.
Yu Darvish missed the last 46 games of the 2014 season thanks to elbow inflammation. The Rangers were a dumpster fire of a team at that point in the season -- Darvish was one of the last healthy regulars by August -- so resting their ace while he had elbow problems made all the sense in the world. A fall and winter of rest doesn't seem to have helped, however, as Darvish underwent an MRI after his first spring training appearance, revealing to the world that he has a sprained UCL. Tommy John surgery is likely in his future, as is missing all of 2015.
This is a huge blow to the Rangers, who were hoping to bounce back in the competitive AL West, but it's not even their first major injury of the season. Former number one prospect Jurickson Profar tried rest for his shoulder over the offseason, but it was found that didn't cut it and he could miss the entire year after undergoing surgery to treat it. 2014 is the season that never ends for Texas, and even former Rangers are dealing with the fallout: Cliff Lee, who was limited to 81 innings in 2014 thanks to elbow problems, has undergone an MRI on his sore elbow.
Now, Lee has no structural damage and it's not his UCL that's the issue, but it took just two spring innings for his elbow to be a problem. He could still pitch, and maybe even pitch well, but it's a reminder that the ace is a time bomb waiting to go off, and the Phillies are going to have a harder time dealing him because of it. It's bad for Lee, bad for the Phillies, and bad for whichever teams were looking into Lee for this summer.
By the way, one of those teams was the Rangers. Thanks a lot, guys.
SB Nation presents: It's your team's year ... unless you're a Braves or Phillies fan
- These are the five AL Central players who will make or break their team this summer. Well, okay, maybe Ricky Nolasco won't make the Twins' contenders, but peak Johan Santana would be no guarantee to do the same until the kids are ready, either.
- Hector Olivera is a free agent (finally), and the 30-year-old and his impressive bat should sign somewhere before too much more of spring training goes by. Kiley McDaniel has a full breakdown of Olivera, as well as a warning telling you that $50 million is much more likely than the $70 million figure that's been bandied about.
- Apparently the Yankees are the team who has been closest to dealing for Cole Hamels, but everyone should stop and think about this for a moment. The Phillies still want Red Sox prospects. They want the Padres to offer for more Hamels. They want the Rangers to trade their impressive kids for Hamels to replace the injured Darvish. Bringing up the Yankees as a frightening Hamels destination makes all kinds of sense for them from a negotiating standpoint, and seems convenient when you consider the two sides were never actually that close to begin with.
- The Yankees could retire their organizational captaincy now that The Captain Derek Jeter has left baseball. While this would be more official, they wouldn't be the first team to stop naming captains.
- Today is Clayton Kershaw day over at Baseball Prospectus, so there are 12 different Clayton Kershaw articles available for you to read. If you hate Kershaw, this is a nightmare scenario for you, but if you hate Kershaw, what are you even doing reading about baseball early in the morning?
- Rick Porcello has not had extension talks with the Red Sox, and doesn't think he will. That makes sense, given both sides could benefit from waiting to see just how well Porcello pitches this summer.
- The Braves threw a combined no-hitter on Sunday, and didn't even win their game. Spring training, y'all.
- Jose Iglesias missed all of 2014 with shin issues, and now he's dealing with a shin contusion. We just want to watch him field, baseball gods, can you quit it with the dumb injuries?