Pitching coach Doug Brocial says it is unlikely the three-time All-Star will throw more than 85-90 pitches, and “it may be a while before the club starts to increase the number it allows him to throw,” reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
Saturday will be Darvish's first major league start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last March.
Because Darvish is not making his debut until late May, the Rangers are less likely to run into the type of innings debate the Mets staged last year with Matt Harvey. But Darvish averages 16.4 pitches per inning, a relatively high figure. As Grant points out, Darvish would not last six innings per outing on a 90-95 pitch count limit.
It will be intriguing to see if Darvish tries to pitch more to contact to bring his workload down, which could have an impact on his strikeout total. Darvish fanned 680 batters from 2012 to 2014, the fourth-highest total in the majors in that span.