Darvish throws without problem

Darvish throws without problem

SAN ANTONIO -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, who is expected to start the season on the disabled list with stiffness in his neck, had a productive and painless throwing session at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Saturday.

While the Rangers were playing the Astros in San Antonio, Darvish threw long toss from 100 feet with medical director Jamie Reed and Jose Vazquez, the Rangers' strength and conditioning coach, monitoring him. Darvish then threw 30 pitches from a distance of 60 feet on flat ground. Darvish reported no pain or discomfort while throwing.

Darvish is scheduled to throw again on Sunday, this time with pitching coach Mike Maddux in attendance. If that session goes well, the Rangers will map out a more definitive plan for getting Darvish back in the rotation.

Darvish made four starts in the Cactus League, with the last one coming on March 16 when he went 4 2/3 innings and threw 84 pitches against the White Sox. He was scratched from his next start on March 21 and hasn't pitched since. He will most likely need at least a simulated game or a Minor League rehab start before he returns to the Major League rotation.

Darvish can be backdated 10 days into Spring Training on the disabled list and could officially come off next Saturday. Right now the Rangers are planning on Nick Martinez to make that start.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.