Yu Darvish will miss at least a couple of starts for the Rangers because of right elbow inflammation.
Texas placed its ace from Japan on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday night, a day before his scheduled start against Tampa Bay. He will have an MRI on Thursday.
The move was retroactive to Sunday, a day after Darvish allowed six runs and nine hits over four innings in a loss at Texas. The Rangers said he didn't have any issues during that game, but felt tightness when throwing on the side Monday and that feeling never went away.
"Yu had expressed that he could pitch probably if we were in a different spot, a meaningful game (Thursday)," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He agreed, we agreed, it was better to be cautious. ... With the year we've had with injuries, we're not going to push it and take any chance at this point."
Darvish is the 14th player currently on the DL for the Rangers. That is the most in the majors, as are the team's 24 overall disabled list uses, including Darvish at the beginning of the season because of neck stiffness.
Texas purchased the contract of left-hander Alex Claudio from Triple-A Round Rock to be in the bullpen a night after the Rangers' 14-inning victory.
Left-hander Robbie Ross will be recalled from Round Rock on Thursday to start in Darvish's spot. The Rangers will have to make a corresponding move to add Ross at that point.
Darvish (10-7, 3.06 ERA) skipped throwing a normal bullpen session between starts this week.
When talking to reporters Tuesday, during his normal availability two days before each of his scheduled starts, he referred to a break at this point in the season and said nothing about soreness in his elbow.
Team physician Dr. Keith Meister initially examined Darvish later Tuesday night.
When asked if there was any thought of shutting Darvish down for the season, with the team last in the AL West and well out of playoff contention, Daniels said it was premature to answer that before getting MRI results.
"I don't think that's where his head is, that's not where our head is," Daniels said. "Based on what I've been told so far, no, that's not a thought."
Ross was a converted reliever who started this season in the Rangers rotation, going 1-4 with a 4.78 ERA in nine starts before going back to the bullpen. When he was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on June 17, he was 2-4 with a 5.61 ERA in 18 games.
"He's throwing the ball well. ... He's made progress and was ready to get another opportunity," Daniels said. "He feels good about himself. He's got his confidence back, made a couple of mechanical changes, but the biggest thing, he's got his confidence back."