- Associated Press - Friday, March 21, 2014

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish has been scratched from his minor league start because of a stiff neck.

Darvish was to throw 90-100 pitches Friday, while Tanner Scheppers, who is auditioning for a rotation spot, was to start against Milwaukee.

Darvish says the stiffness is not as acute as he had in spring training last year. Darvish says the discomfort began two nights ago when he slept wrong. He insists this is not connected to his back problems he had at the end of last season.

The major league strikeout leader last year with 277, Darvish thinks he should be fine to make his final spring training start on Wednesday and be ready for the March 31 season opener.

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