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Darvish out of opener for Rangers

The SportsXchange

Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish will miss his first Opening Day start in three years because of a back issue.

The Rangers also announced Tuesday that former All-Star closer Neftali Feliz was sent to the minor leagues.

Assistant general manager Thad Levine indicated that Darvish could begin the season on the disabled list, saying there is no timetable for his return. Darvish is headed to Dallas to be examined by back specialist Drew Dossett on Wednesday.

"I knew I wasn't going to be ready for Opening Day, so I made this decision," Darvish said, according to The Dallas Morning News. "I didn't want to burden the team, so I made the decision now. If it was a shoulder or elbow, it would be really different. I don't know what to feel. It is what it is."

Darvish missed a spring-training start last Friday with neck stiffness.

He finished second in the American League Cy Young Award voting last year after posting a 13-9 record with a 2.83 ERA and an AL-best 277 strikeouts in 209 2/3 innings.

Perez was the closer for the Rangers on their World Series teams in 2010 and 2011 but struggled in spring training, giving up 13 hits and five runs in nine games. He lost a battle for the closer's job with Joakim Soria.

Perez, who underwent Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in August 2012, was assigned to triple-A Round Rock with left-handers Rafael Perez and Aaron Poreda.

The Rangers, hit hard by injuries during the spring, open the 2014 season on Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies in Arlington, Texas.
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