Yu Darvish throws another BP session for Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish wanted to wait a day after his latest live batting practice session before deciding if he is ready for a minor league rehab start.
Darvish threw 45 pitches during a session Tuesday that was broken up to simulate three innings.
The Rangers said afterward that Darvish wanted to see how he felt Wednesday before making a decision or talking to the media. Darvish indicated to some Japanese reporters that he felt good.
''I like seeing him on the mound with a ball in his hand,'' manager Jeff Banister. ''The ball came out clean. The secondary stuff was good.''
After throwing a similar BP session last Thursday, Darvish decided he wanted to do that again before his first minor league rehab start. The right-hander had Tommy John surgery just more than 13 months ago.
So instead of pitching for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday, when he could have started there, he was at the Rangers ballpark five hours before their game against the New York Yankees throwing against teammates Ryan Rua, Hanser Alberto and Brett Nicholas.
It was Darvish's third time throwing BP on the field. Another scheduled session was moved to an indoor cage because of rain, when hitters weren't swinging.
''Being back out there already on the mound coming back from Tommy John, I thought he was incredibly sharp, a lot of life, a lot of movement, very smooth, crisp with all his pitches,'' Rua said. ''You could tell he was competitive, ready to get back out there. Overall, I thought he was very sharp.''
Darvish threw 14 pitches in the first set Tuesday, then after a short break threw 17 more before another break and his last 14 pitches.
If Darvish feels good and is ready for a game, he could start for Frisco on Sunday. The Rangers have said it is realistic that he could be back in their rotation in the second half of May.
Bryan Holaday was the catcher Tuesday, five days after hitting against Darvish during a 47-pitch session.
''He looked really good,'' Holaday said. ''Each time has gotten better and better just overall. I've caught him a couple of times in the bullpen and the ball was jumping out of his hand. The velocity was great. Spinning the ball was excellent, he's got special stuff. I thought he looked awesome.''
Darvish last pitched in a major league game Aug. 9, 2014, then missed the end of that season because of right elbow inflammation. In his first start the following spring, he pitched only one inning and experienced tightness in his right elbow before Tommy John surgery on March 17, 2015.
The 29-year-old Darvish was 39-25 with a 3.27 ERA and 680 strikeouts in 83 starts for Texas from 2012-14, after the previous seven seasons in Japan. He was an All-Star in each of his first three seasons with the Rangers.