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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Yu Darvish impresses skipper, Colby Lewis

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington got a chance to speak briefly with Yu Darvish during the Japanese pitcher's recent visit to Texas and has seen him on film. And Darvish has impressed his possible future skipper. Darvish and the Rangers have less than a week -- until 4 p.m. central time next Wednesday -- to reach an agreement.

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"He's got great mechanics," Washington said. "He throws strikes. He's got four or five good pitches."

Washington said Darvish has a sharp mind.

"He remembers who he faced and what he did and what they did against him," Washington said. "I think he’ll fit in nicely with our young kids. He’s still young himself."

Colby Lewis, who pitched for two seasons in Japan, beat Darvish in a head-to-head matchup in 2008.

"He threw like 140 piches, I threw 125," Lewis said. "It was a pretty good matchup.

Lewis believes Darvish can succeed at the big league level.

"If you’re able to throw strikes, pound the strike zone and get guys out, it doesn't matter what league you play in," Lewis said. "If you can command the fastball and do what you need to do to get guys out, you can have success here too.

"He has overpowering stuff, especially in that league over there. The big thing that stood out to me was his fastball command. If he can do that here, he’ll have success."