SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said Sunday that the club won't get too caught up in whether Yu Darvish is scheduled to pitch to American League or even AL West clubs.
"When his turn falls, he'll pitch," Washington said. "We're not trying to hide him."
But with the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A's going to Japan to start the season, there really aren't many spring games against the AL West anyway. Texas plays the Mariners just once -- on March 12 in Peoria -- and the A's come to Surprise Stadium on March 15. The Rangers don't face the Los Angeles Angels until late March, when they have back-to-back games on the weekend of March 24-25.
If Darvish were to pitch every fifth day for the rest of camp, the only AL team he would face is the Mariners on March 12. But the Rangers could always alter the rotation and change things up, especially later in spring.
The other reason the club isn't too concerned about it is they want Darvish to face as many big league hitters as he can this spring as part of his preparation for the season. So if some of those are AL teams, so be it. That makes it unlikely that you'll see Darvish pitch in a "B" game.
Washington said if Darvish was a closer, he might be more concerned about not showing him to AL clubs. And some veterans, like Colby Lewis, will get the chance to pitch in some "B" games if that comes up. But that's because Lewis has been around and may be working on specific things, not needing the extra time against big league hitters.
The 25-year-old makes his first Cactus League start in Peoria against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday. He will likely go two innings and throw no more than 40 pitches. Darvish will throw a side bullpen session Monday as part of his work toward that Wednesday start.