Surprise Six: First official workout day
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It was the first official day for pitchers and catchers at spring training in Surprise. And once again, it was dominated by Yu Darvish news as he threw to hitters for the first time and held a news conference. Here are six things that happened on Thursday in Surprise:
1. The media contingent grew and Yu Darvish threw 19 pitches to a few minor-league hitters on a back field in Surprise. He impressed his catcher, the hitters and Rangers officials.
2. The whole scene was interesting to watch as the media followed Darvish all over the back fields for fielding practice and his throwing sessions. Here's an overall look at his day. Darvish's dad, Farsad, believes his son will be able to make the transition to the majors and that he can handle all the attention.
3. Neftali Feliz is embracing his role as a starter and knows he needs to build the stamina to pitch additional innings and go out there every fifth day.
4. Mike Napoli, who caught Yu Darvish's bullpen sessions, said his ankle felt good after he tested it with regular catching duties Thursday. Expect both catchers, BTW, to get playing time this year. Sure, Napoli will probably get a little more time behind the plate, but manager Ron Washington wants to keep both of his catchers fresh.
5. Roy Oswalt has decided not to sign anywhere and get his options open for a midseason opportunity. That's not a bad thing for the Rangers. They can see how things play out this spring and even as the season starts and if injuries or issues occur, they could revisit Oswalt.
6. Derek Holland praises Yu Darvish, but doesn't want fans or the media to forget about the other guys on the team.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss his role with the Rangers. Ryan says that he has not been in contact with the Astros about a possible opening and he doesn't think that he would be interested anyway.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and wastes no time sounding off on MLB umpire Angel Hernandez.
Play Podcast Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland joins GAC from Milwaukee to discuss what it was like facing former teammate Scott Feldman, Texas' upcoming series and more.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Milwaukee for his weekly visit and discusses Nick Tepesch, the Rangers' rotation, interleague play and more.