Daily (Yu) Darvish: Throws all 7 pitches

February, 29, 2012
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike Napoli doesn't have seven fingers on his right hand, but he said he had no trouble figuring out seven different signs for Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old threw 35 pitches in a 10-minute session to two nonroster hitters on Wednesday and used all seven of his pitches. Napoli said Darvish's repertoire included: a cutter, slider, curve, split-fingered fastball, changeup, two-seam fastball (sinker) and a four-seam fastball. Napoli said Darvish's curve is more over the top (12-6) and clearly different from the slider.

"I was impressed," Napoli said. "He spins the ball really well. His fastball and his off-speed pitches have tight rotation. The ball came out of his hand pretty good today."

Napoli said before Darvish, the pitcher he's caught with the most pitches was C.J. Wilson, who would throw five different ones in a game. Napoli feels that Darvish has the confidence and ability to throw all seven in game conditions when needed.

"He threw a couple of splits that really dove down," Napoli said. "I like his curveball. It's slower, but it has tight spin and rotation on it. He threw every pitch pretty good."

Darvish continues to build up his arm strength. Napoli said it didn't appear Darvish was overdoing it and the pitcher asked Napoli about his fastball and what it was doing after the outing. Napoli talked to him briefly about what he was seeing and then gave him a high-five.

"I think he was all right with the session he had," Napoli said. "It seems that he likes to be perfect. That's a good thing. He wants to be perfect with every pitch, but that's kind of tough to do in our sport."

The Japanese pitcher will throw the third inning as part of the visiting team in Friday's intrasquad game in Surprise.

"He has great movement," Napoli said. "He was throwing the sinker and it moved and he threw a couple of splits where the bottom just dropped out of it. He knows what he's doing with the ball. He knows how to manipulate the ball."
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.



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Pedro Figueroa
2 4.50 2 8
BAE. Andrus .302
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 9
OPSS. Choo .830
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23