SURPRISE, Ariz. — The Rangers said ace right-hander Yu Darvish has no structural damage in his stiff neck but likely will begin the season on the disabled list.
Darvish was examined Wednesday by Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas. He will start a throwing program this weekend and won't need any injections.
Texas general manager Jon Daniels said he expects Darvish will be put on the 15-day DL. The Rangers open Monday at home against the Phillies.
"That's kind of where it's headed," Daniels said. "We're looking at 10 days already. He will play catch Saturday and if he continues to improve, then we'll put a plan together from there.
"That's going to be two weeks. He's not going to be ready to break (camp). It's a relief that's it's positive news from the exam."
Darvish led the majors in strikeouts last season. With him out, right-hander Tanner Scheppers will start the opener. Scheppers will be making his first big-league start after 115 relief appearances.
Marte's New deal: Pittsburgh and leftfielder Starling Marte agreed to a six-year contract that will keep him with the team for the rest of the decade. The contract has a total value of $31 million, cbssports.com reported. Marte, 25, batted .280 with a .343 on-base percentage and a .441 slugging percentage and played strong defense in his first full season.
PLAYER BEANED: Royals catcher Salvador Perez was hit in the helmet by a pitch and left the game against the Padres. Right-hander Johnny Barbato hit Perez above his left ear with a breaking ball in the third inning. Kansas City said Perez didn't sustain a concussion, and Perez relayed through the club that he's "fine."
ANGELS: Right-hander Joe Blanton, 33, was granted his unconditional release. The team will still have to pay him $8.5 million.
CARDINALS: Right-handed reliever David Aardsma agreed to a minor-league contract.
GIANTS: Second baseman Marco Scutaro, who has been sidelined for most of the spring with back problems, said he will begin the season on the disabled list. Left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt also will open on the DL with a sprained MCL in his right knee.
INDIANS: Right-hander Carlos Carrasco beat out right-hander Josh Tomlin for a spot in the starting rotation and is set to pitch April 5 against the Twins.
NATIONALS: Outfielder Bryce Harper was ejected from a spring game against the Cardinals after being called out on a close play at first base in the fourth inning. Harper screamed his displeasure at first-base umpire Jeff Gosney as he passed him and was tossed.
ORIOLES: Outfielder Nolan Reimold will start the season on the DL because of neck soreness that is preventing him from playing the field.
ROYALS: Right-handed reliever Louis Coleman probably will start the season on the DL because of a bone bruise on his right middle finger.
TWINS: Centerfielder Byron Buxton, widely regarded as baseball's best prospect, is expected to begin the season on the DL with a left wrist injury he suffered while diving for a ball March 16. Buxton, 20, likely will be assigned to Double-A New Britain when he's healthy.