Yesterday was the long-awaited first spring training start for some guy named Yu Darvish. The Rangers took on the San Diego Padres and won 6-2, here’s what you need to know:
- Yu Darvish did nothing to calm down the anticipation and hype of Rangers fans yesterday. He pitched two scoreless innings and gave up two doubles. Some say Yu threw six or seven pitches, Ron Washington feels like that’s a little high.
- He pitched entirely out of the stretch which was a little surprising but according to Mike Maddux, he pitched out of the stretch in a bullpen session and wanted to continue in this game. Hey, whatever works my friend.
- Three of Darvish’s six outs were via the strikeout. The big thing I noticed where how many swinging strikes he induced. A good indication that he has the ability to get the strikeout when needed.
- Darvish showed some real swagger on the mound during the game and after. When discussing the double off the wall in the second inning. When asked about the hit Darvish said he didn’t think it was hit very squarely. Venable didn’t seem pleased with the Darvish assessment when asked about it ”Maybe his perception of reality isn’t as right-on as … well … no comment,”
- Yu also showed some athleticism on defense when he snagged a bouncer up the middle and covered first on a hard hit to Michael Young.
Today the Rangers will play the Chicago White Sox and there is almost as much intrigue in this game without the Yu Darvish storyline.
- Neftali Feliz will start his journey of converting from closer to starter today. Going to be interesting to see how he changes his approach and pace.
- New free agent closer Joe Nathan should get into the game today for the first time this spring. Joe Nathan who is 37 years old could be an awesome veteran presence in the bullpen if he can regain the form he had before Tommy John surgery.
John Daniels was on ESPN radio yesterday and talked about the Josh Hamilton comments earlier in spring training regarding his contract status. He wasn’t pleased with the wording of Hamilton’s comments around playing hard for the Rangers and had this to say “He says, ‘Well, I play hard, I give it what I have with the Rangers. For me, that’s in the job description. That’s the expectation. You don’t get extra credit for that.” I would be really happy if this would just go away. Its baseball time.