Rangers hope Yu's back before All-Star break

Righty feels good after 30-pitch 'pen session, may throw sim game Wednesday

Rangers hope Yu's back before All-Star break

ARLINGTON -- In his first bullpen session since being placed on the 15-day disabled list June 13, Yu Darvish threw 30 pitches before the Rangers' 6-2 victory against the Red Sox on Sunday.

Darvish was able to throw breaking pitches along with his fastball and appeared to do so without any noticeable discomfort. The Rangers are hoping to get him back before the All-Star break.

Since going on the DL just three starts after returning from Tommy John surgery, Darvish had only been throwing from flat ground at 120 feet and was also regularly playing catch. Texas pitching coach Doug Brocail, who had been catching the flat-ground sessions, said earlier this week that Darvish's stuff was looking good, joking that his "hand was paying the price."

Darvish said he felt good after the bullpen session. If all goes well, he's expected to throw a three-inning simulated game with the team in New York on Wednesday. A rehab stint is not imminent, though. Brocail said earlier this week that the benefit of the rehab assignment would be to recreate the adrenaline rush of a game situation.

"He's going to have some say in this," Brocail said. "We'll see how he feels after the bullpen and then we'll go from there."

Chi Chi back in Texas

Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez was in the clubhouse before Sunday's game after it was announced Saturday he would start Monday against the Yankees in New York.

Gonzalez joins pitchers Nick Martinez and Cesar Ramos who have had to step up with Darvish, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis going on the DL.

"I just want to fit into that role, help this team win and fill those shoes," he said. " ... It gives me an opportunity and all I want to do is compete."

"I think guys like this, when they get this opportunity, they just relax and treat it as such. Give us your best effort that day. Just manage the game, don't try to do more."

Claudio optioned

The Rangers announced after Sunday's win over that left-hander Alex Claudio will be optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Gonzalez.

Claudio has a 4.50 ERA in 18 innings for the Rangers this season. He has made three appearances since being recalled June 13, allowing two runs in 3 2/3 innings. His last outing came Tuesday, when he threw two scoreless innings against the Reds.

The 24-year-old lefty has bounced between Round Rock and the Majors this season, with three stints with Texas.

Rangers beat

• Banister said catcher Robinson Chirinos got through Saturday fine after being taken out Friday with a sore right wrist. Chirinos was hit on the wrist June 18 against the Cardinals.

Jurickson Profar didn't not Sunday and made just two starts this week. Banister said he hasn't felt any difficulties trying to find a place in the lineup for the 23-year-old infielder.

• After Saturday's win, the Rangers have gone a Major League-best 21-17 in games where their opponents score first.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlingtton. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.