Darvish feels good facing hitters for 1st time since August
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish faced hitters for the first time since last August, throwing 30 pitches against teammates during batting practice Wednesday.
Darvish missed the final seven weeks last season because of right elbow inflammation.
''I was able to do some things I'd worked on in the bullpen,'' Darvish said through a translator. ''My command was very good and there was power on the ball, but the batters were pretty much just standing in the batter's box, so it was hard to judge.''
Darvish had already had two bullpen sessions in Arizona before throwing to Delino DeShields Jr., Thomas Field and Ed Lucas.
''I thought he was very sharp - guys couldn't square up the ball,'' pitching coach Mike Maddux said. ''One thing about Yu, he doesn't overthrow. He was very consistent. Mission accomplished.''
Darvish went 10-7 with a 3.06 ERA last season, his third with the Rangers since coming over from Japan. He is 39-25 with a 3.27 ERA in 83 major league starts, and led the American League with 277 strikeouts in 2013.
The right-hander was sidelined because of inflammation after his start Aug. 9 at Houston, when Darvish allowed six runs on nine hits and four walks in four innings. He didn't pitch after that with the Rangers, who had an AL-worst 95 losses last season.
''I am concentrating on my form and what I want to work on,'' Darvish said. ''Since there are batters standing in the batter's box, all I wanted to do is what I had been doing in my two previous bullpens.''
NOTES: CF Leonys Martin was the last position player to report to camp. The first full-squad workout is Thursday. ... Two newcomers, left-handed reliever Edgar Olmos and utility player Elliott Johnson, worked out with the Rangers for the first time. Olmos, claimed off waivers from Seattle, said he had been in limbo. ''This is a great opportunity,'' he said. Johnson was added on a minor league deal after second baseman Jurickson Profar had shoulder surgery this week. Johnson, who has played 318 major league games with four organizations, has played every position but pitcher and catcher.