Yu Darvish makes Rangers debut today
Count Rangers manager Ron Washington among those curious to see Yu Darvish take the mound against the Padres on Wednesday in the pitcher's first Cactus League start.
"I'm just not going to put a whole lot into what happens," Washington said. "I just want him to get out there and get into a big league game and get his work done like everyone else is getting their work done and move forward to the next time."
Darvish, who signed a six-year, $60 million deal with Texas in January, is scheduled throw two innings or 35 pitches. He will start again March 13 against the Indians at Goodyear Ballpark.
"I have communicated to him that it is a progression, and he understands that, but you can't control how he is going to feel once he gets on that mound for the first time," Washington said. "The key is that he continues to get better each time he takes the ball and be ready for April."
Darvish has thrown live batting practice several times this spring and pitched a scoreless inning in an intrasquad game Friday, facing Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre. He retired the side without allowing a hit.
"Over here, you have lineups that can hurt you up and down. Coming from Japan, there was domination because he never had that," Washington said. "He needs to get used to that fact that every time one of those guys step in the box on the Major League level that they can hurt you. Make your pitches and you can get anybody out. It doesn't matter who it is. If you don't make your pitches, they will make you pay for it."