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Yu Darvish vs. His Pillow

Factual Background

In 2013, Yu Darvish (SP-TEX) was the runner-up for the American League Cy Young award after going 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA and a league-leading 277 strikeouts.  He was named the Rangers Opening Day starter by manager Ron Washington until he complained about stiffness in his neck which he attributed to sleeping on it wrong.  There is no truth to the self-made rumor that Darvish told his teammates he was choking on a Viagara which made his neck stiff.

Procedural History

After missing his scheduled start last Friday, Darvish believed he would be able to resume throwing within a few days.  But since he hasn’t been able to throw, he agreed to visit the doctor this past Wednesday.  The results did not show any structural damage and Darvish was cleared to resume throwing again this weekend.

Question Presented

How does this injury affect Yu Darvish’s fantasy value?


It looks like Darvish’s sleep number is quite different than his ADP.  It has already been decided that Darvish will not pitch on Opening Day which is just a couple days away.  That honor is now bestowed on Tanner Scheppers who will also be making his first start in the major leagues.  Chances are that Darvish will begin the season on the disabled list so he can build up his endurance again after missing his last start.  The Rangers will also want to be cautious with their ace to ensure that he does not do any further damage to his neck or alter his mechanics to compensate for any pain.

Even if he misses a couple starts, Darvish is still a top fantasy option.  However, he did have some back issues in 2013 and had to get an injection after the season was over.  By no means he can be considered an injury risk at this point, but there is some cause for concern when combining his lower back nerve issues from 2013 along with a stiff neck this spring. 

The Verdict

Don’t regret drafting him as one of the first starting pitchers off the board.  You will just have to survive the first couple weeks of the season if he does land on the disabled list.  But there is no doubt that Yu’s injury is a real pain in the neck for him AND fantasy baseball GM’s. 


If you are wondering the best way to evaluate arms such as Darvish so that you can find these “gems” on the mound, I've got just the thing for you. It's the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide powered by BaseballGuys. There are a couple of articles detailing exactly how you can go about finding bargains on players in 2014.

Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service.  You can contact him at or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment),


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