Texas Rangers: Will Venable

Daily (Yu) Darvish: Controversial comment

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
12:30
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. – Yu Darvish made some little waves after his start Wednesday in Peoria.

He gave up a leadoff double in the second inning to Will Venable and when asked about it afterward said, through a translator, that it was wind-aided.

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"With the dry air in Arizona and the wind blowing out, it carried the ball," Darvish said. "It didn't seem like a ball that was hit that squarely."

Some of the Japanese media said Darvish might have meant that he, meaning Darvish, wasn't squared up to the plate.

Venable didn't say much after the game to a large group of media but was told of Darvish’s comments and then had more to say in an interview the Darren Smith Show on XX 1090, the Padres’ flagship station.

“I think the wind saved it from being a home run,” Venable said. “I also heard that he didn’t think I hit it squarely. If that’s the case, I don’t think anyone has squared off a ball off of him. That’s as well as I could hit a ball, to be honest. I don’t know if something was lost in translation there.

“I would have liked to hear a little more humility from the guy. To each his own. He’s a confident guy. Of course I didn’t square up a ball because he’s Yu Darvish.”

Read about manager Ron Washington's reaction and more here.

My take: Darvish is confident in what he can do and doesn't back down. His choice of words wasn't the best, but many pitchers don't like to give the hitter credit. To say the hit was wind-aided or that Venable didn't square it up isn't accurate. That ball hit very high off that wall and would have been out any other part of the park (and Washington acknowledges that the wall saved the Rangers from a homer on that hit).

Chalk it up to another learning experience for Darvish, who besides studying big league hitters and figuring out the best way to get outs each start is also adjusting to dealing with a bunch of questions from the media and learning a new language. Still, you've got to like Darvish's confidence. And there's nothing like a minor back-and-forth between pitcher and hitter in spring training.

Padres anticipate first look at Yu Darvish

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
11:37
AM CT


PEORIA, Ariz. – There’s a lot going on at Peoria Sports Complex on Wednesday.

MLB Network is on site shooting the San Diego Padres for its “30 Clubs in 30 Days” series. The Padres are preparing for their first set of split-squad games.

And some pitcher by the name of Yu Darvish happens to be on the mound for the Texas Rangers in one of those games.

“I know it’ll be a circus out there with all the media,” Padres outfielder Will Venable said.

Around 100 media members are expected to be at the complex in anticipation for Darvish’s first spring training start.

With all the hype surrounding Darvish, Venable called former Padre and Rangers pitcher Mike Adams about the 6-foot-5, 216-pound pitcher. Adams informed him Darvish is as good as advertised.

“[Adams said] his stuff is electric, hang with him if you’re in there,” Venable said. “It’ll be interesting to check him out.”

Darvish has seven pitches in his arsenal, but Venable won’t change his approach.

“For me, it all comes back to the fastball,” Venable said. “He’s going to throw a fastball and he’s going to throw a fastball for a strike. That’s the pitch you want to hit.”

Outfielder Cameron Maybin will lead off against Darvish and plans to play to his strengths. Maybin also said he’ll look for a fastball and work off that during his plate appearances against Darvish.

“I know it’s early in the spring so I hope he won’t be throwing all seven today,” Maybin said. “Hopefully he’ll narrow it down to a couple.”

All Maybin knows about Darvish is his great stuff on the mound. While he hasn’t closely followed the Japanese pitcher, Maybin thinks Darvish is good for baseball and looks forward to the challenge.

“The spotlight is on him,” Maybin said. “This is what we do every year, year in and year out. For me, it’s the same process. It’ll be exciting to see how he handles it.”

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182