Texas Rangers: Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish looks strong in first workout

February, 21, 2015
Feb 21
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitching coach Mike Maddux only needed one word to answer if Yu Darvish had any problems with his elbow following the Texas Rangers ace's 35-pitch session Saturday during the first workout for pitchers and catchers.

“Zero,” Maddux said.

That one word carries a lot of weight and should also lift any concern of lingering effects from the mild elbow inflammation that sent Darvish to the disables list last August before he was later shut down for the season as a precaution.

“I thought Yu threw very well. I liked what I saw,” Maddux said. “The ball was coming out clean. His command was good. The spin was good. He’s ahead of the field a little bit.”

Maddux kept tabs on Darvish, who has been throwing for a month, so he knew the Rangers ace was in good form entering camp. Despite that knowledge, Maddux admitted he was still curious and eager to see Darvish when he took the hill Saturday at Surprise Recreation Campus.

“Those are both good words,” Maddux said. “I was looking forward to seeing him throw.

A healthy Darvish is vital for the Rangers if they are to rebound from their injury-riddled 67-win season in 2014, and all early indications are that is the case.

Darvish finished 10-7 with a 3.06 ERA and 182 strikeouts in 144 1/3 innings last season.

Ranking the Rangers: No. 1 Yu Darvish

February, 6, 2015
Feb 6
Yu DarvishAP Photo/Julie JacobsonYu Darvish's season ended prematurely last year, but he remains one of the game's best pitchers.
We conclude our rankings of the top 10 Texas Rangers with a look at the ace of the pitching staff.

No. 1 Yu Darvish

2014 stats: 10-7, 3.06 ERA, 22 starts, 144.1 IP, K/9 11.3

2015 projected stats: 14-9, 3.27 ERA, 10.49 K/9, WAR 4.3

AL West rank: Is Darvish the best pitcher in the division? Felix Hernandez of Seattle will have something to say about that, as would a healthy Garrett Richards of the Los Angeles Angels. Sonny Gray had a solid 2014 season for Oakland and looks to follow that up. But there’s no doubting the talent of Darvish, who despite missing the last month and a half of the season with elbow inflammation, is one of the better pitchers not only in the AL West, but in all of baseball.

Outlook: Darvish didn’t finish the season due to inflammation in his pitching elbow, but he’s expected to be healthy for the 2015 season. The additions of Yovani Gallardo and the return of Derek Holland for a full season should take some of the pressure off Darvish. He needs to be a 200-innings pitcher for the Rangers, who also need to provide some power and run support for their ace. Darvish enters the season in tremendous shape, but the rest of the rotation will need to step up if any health issues resurface.

Projections from Steamer Projections, via Fan Graphs.

Ranking the Rangers: No. 5 Derek Holland

February, 4, 2015
Feb 4
RangersJim Cowsert/USA TODAY SportsThe Rangers need a full, healthy season from Derek Holland to get back into AL West contention.
We continue our ranking of the top 10 Texas Rangers with a look at the No. 2 starter.

No. 5: Derek Holland

2014 stats: 2-0, 1.46 ERA (in five starts), 37 IP, 6.1 K/9

2015 projected stats: 12-11, 4.17 ERA, 7.28 K/9, 2.1 WAR

AL West rank: This is a pretty competitive spot in the rotation. Scott Kazmir (190S innings) was an All-Star with Oakland in 2014, while Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma went 3-0 against Texas. Then we have Jered Weaver (18 wins, 213S innings), who is a top-tier starter for the Angels. Holland’s ability to win against these pitchers will determine plenty in 2015, particularly if the Rangers can contend for the division title.

Outlook: The Rangers missed Holland's presence this past season, and though there were plenty of critics regarding how he suffered a serious knee injury -- the left-hander tripped over his dog at home in January 2014 -- his efforts on the mound give you confidence he'll produce a solid 2015 season. Fully recovered from microfracture surgery, Holland projects as a double-digit winner. Will 12 wins be enough? Not for Texas to capture the division. Holland needs at least 14 victories, combined with the high total expected of staff ace Yu Darvish, to get the Rangers back in the hunt. The 28-year-old Holland pitched into the seventh inning in all five of his starts and threw at least 100 pitches in four of those outings. If the Rangers think Yovani Gallardo is a better No. 2 starter, Holland is more than capable of being a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher. His maturity isn’t an issue, and he displayed tremendous leadership in the clubhouse, once he returned from injury. Wherever he stacks up, the Rangers need Holland, who can make at least 25 to 30 starts in 2015, healthy.

Projections from Steamer Projections, via FanGraphs.

Ranking the Rangers: No. 7 Yovani Gallardo

February, 3, 2015
Feb 3
Yovani GallardoAP Photo/LM OteroRighty Yovani Gallardo arrived from Milwaukee with a reputation as an innings-eater.
We continue our rankings of the top 10 Texas Rangers with a look at the projected No. 3 starter.

No. 7: Yovani Gallardo

2014 stats: 8-11, 3.51 ERA, 32 starts, 192S IP, 6.8 K/9

2015 projected stats: 10-11, 4.61 ERA, 6.5 K/9, 1.7 WAR

AL West rank: Ex-Ranger C.J. Wilson is the No. 3 man with the Los Angeles Angels, unless you think Jered Weaver (18 wins in 2014) moves down in the rotation. Wilson had his highest ERA, 4.51, as a starter and struggled with his control at times in 2014. Houston’s Collin McHugh, who had a 2.73 ERA in 25 starts, is one of the more talented young pitchers in the division. What was impressive about the 27-year-old right-hander was his 7-0 mark, with three no-decisions, in the final two months of the past season.

Outlook: The Rangers entered the offseason looking to improve starting pitching while trying not to give up too much in the farm system or take on a lot of salary. Enter Gallardo, whom Texas acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. General manager Jon Daniels made the correct decision in getting Gallardo, an innings-eater who pitched into the seventh 13 times last year. The right-hander is a former staff ace who moves into the No. 3 spot behind Yu Darvish and Derek Holland, and he's quite capable of dealing with the pressures of big games. Gallardo’s success will dictate whether he can get a long-term deal from the Rangers, something the Fort Worth native said he is hoping for. The Rangers would like to have more stability in the rotation after Darvish and Holland for the future. Gallardo is the leading candidate.

Projections from Steamer Projections, via FanGraphs.

Rangers seek a healthy Fielder and Darvish

January, 23, 2015
Jan 23
Prince FielderAP Photo/LM Otero"I'm in there," Prince Fielder said of feeling healthy enough to return to the Rangers' lineup.

DALLAS – Injuries dominated the Texas Rangers' 2014 season.

They became so much of a focal point that right-handed starter Colby Lewis, a man who returned from elbow and hip surgeries, said he thought Mitch Moreland and Shin-Soo Choo played on broken ankles last season.

They didn’t, but it’s clear health was a major contributor to the team's 95 losses.

That can’t happen again in 2015 for the Rangers to contend, and two key players coming off health issues, Prince Fielder and Yu Darvish, need to be available for an entire season.

The pair spoke to reporters Friday prior to the Rangers' annual banquet.

Fielder lasted just 42 games before a pinched nerve forced him to undergo surgery. He hit just three home runs and drove in 16 -- far short of his totals in the three seasons before he arrived in Texas, during which he hit 38, 30 and 25 home runs for the Detroit Tigers.

Fielder, 30, said he's feeling good.

“I can play a pickup game right now,” he said. “I’m in there, I’m in there.”

The Rangers need Fielder to be the power hitter they missed last season. His absence placed tremendous pressure on Adrian Beltre to carry the offense. Beltre, the Rangers’ MVP, hit .324 with 77 RBIs -- though his 19 home runs were his fewest since eight in 2009.

Fielder’s return should resound through the lineup.

“It was real difficult,” said Fielder, who played in 162 games for three consecutive seasons before his injury. “I wasn’t used to missing games, so to miss a lot of the season, it was difficult at first. But I had to be an adult about it and just get back healthy to get ready for this year.”

Darvish is another story.

The right-hander missed the final month and a half of the 2014 season with inflammation in his throwing elbow. He’s throwing on flat ground now, earning the praise of pitching coach Mike Maddux, and expects to throw off a mound within the next two weeks.

“My elbow is feeling great and I’m doing the program that is provided from the team,” Darvish said through his new interpreter, Shun Ukita.

In 22 starts, Darvish pitched into the seventh inning 14 times. He was a dominant force, an ace the Rangers needed regardless of how the season was going.

While the 28-year-old is in terrific shape, he has dealt with lower-back and neck issues in the past. The elbow was never much of a problem until last year, and drama followed the injury.

Pitching through the discomfort was discussed, but the Rangers thought it was wise to shut Darvish down given where the team sat in the standings.

“It was very disappointing with the [last-place] position the team was in,” Darvish said. “We weren’t really playing well [and] it was disappointing not being with the team.”

Darvish said he has built a special gym in his house in his native Japan, and that he’s stronger and has put the lower-back issues in the past. Darvish, more than anybody on this Rangers pitching staff, understands the expectations placed on him.

It can’t be another lost season for him and Fielder.

When key players are healthy, positive results are mandatory.

If two of the Rangers' better players can't lead them, Jeff Banister’s rookie season as a manager could be painful to watch.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- During the Texas Rangers' development camp Wednesday, pitching coach Mike Maddux made a revelation regarding the starting rotation: There might be one spot available.

The Rangers have Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, newly acquired Yovani Gallardo and we thought Ross Detwiler, whom the Rangers acquired in a trade last month, ready to start.

Maddux said not so fast.

“I would have to say there’s definitely a spot open and the more guys you have competing for that, I think that improves the depth in the organization,” he said. “But who’s to say that one of those guys might not make the ball club in a different role. Then, as the season rolls on, you're gonna need a spot start here and there, that’s inevitable. Sometimes those guys get an opportunity like that, ‘Hey we got to see that again.’ Next thing you know, you got six pretty good starters on your hands and you don’t have enough room for them, but that’s a good problem to have.”

Detwiler is moving to the rotation after spending last season in the bullpen for the Washington Nationals. Detwiler has spent a majority of his seven-year career (69 starts) as a starter. Washington moved him to the bullpen last year due to the surplus in the rotation. Now, Detwiler hopes to return to the rotation.

Maddux said there are no guarantees regarding Detwiler making the move back. The Rangers moved bullpen pitchers to the starting rotation before and saw mixed results.

“He will let us know,” Maddux said of Detwiler. “We’ve been successful with it and unsuccessful with it. I think it all comes down to the person and what their motivation is and what their drive is. If they’re blessed with that good health to go out there and log the innings or if they're a better fit to throw less innings and more games.”

(Read full post)

Patience is the key for the Rangers

January, 19, 2015
Jan 19

For the Texas Rangers' fan base, the majority of this offseason has been spent learning about patience.

After you lose 95 games and a manager and see star players not finish the season due to injuries, the offseason couldn’t come fast enough.

But then fans saw other teams in the American League West make splashes before and during the winter meetings in San Diego, while all they saw from the Rangers was a pair of minor moves. It prompted general manager Jon Daniels to retort he didn’t care what people thought of how he was conducting business.

Well, the Rangers finally made a substantial move Monday.

The team traded right-handed pitchers Corey Knebel and Marcos Diplan and infielder Luis Sardinas to the Milwaukee Brewers for right-handed starter Yovani Gallardo.

It’s not on the level of Max Scherzer and his reported $210 million deal with the Washington Nationals, but for the Rangers, the deal is their best move of the offseason.

Adding quality starting pitching is something Daniels underlined as important. The Rangers still need a backup catcher and probably a corner outfielder, but if Daniels doesn’t fill these holes from outside the organization, the internal candidates are quite suitable.

The young pitchers down on the farm could help, but an extra year of seasoning wouldn't hurt. Daniels found the next-best thing for new manager Jeff Banister and pitching coach Mike Maddox: a quality veteran starter for the middle of the rotation.

At the top of the rotation are Yu Darvish and Derek Holland. Colby Lewis mans the back end, with Gallardo and Ross Detwiler in the middle.

Gallardo, a Fort Worth, Texas, native, went 8-11 in 2014 and lost five of his final seven starts.

The ability to eat innings is one requirement for quality starting pitching, and Gallardo, who has made at least 30 starts in each of the past six seasons, fits the bill there. The 28-year-old pitched at least 180 innings those past six seasons and reached 200 twice.

Gallardo pitches to contact, and though opposing hitters make contact 71 percent of the time -- 3 percent higher than the league average -- there’s hope he’ll be just fine at Globe Life Park.

Adding Gallardo will cost the Rangers $13 million in additional salary -- not too bad for just one season, with Gallardo entering the final year of his contract. Gallardo is open to staying long-term, and Daniels has said he wouldn’t mind trading for a pitcher with one or two years remaining on his contract, given the possibility of a long-term deal down the line.

Fans whose patience has worn thin at times this winter can relax a little bit, because the Rangers did something good.

That’s all you can ask for.
DALLAS -- At the annual Christmas luncheon on Wednesday, Texas Rangers president/GM Jon Daniels said the club is still searching to improve the roster via trade or free agency.

The team has made small moves, from trading for middle-of-the-rotation starter Ross Detwiler and drafting center fielder/second baseman Delino DeShields Jr. in the Rule 5 Draft.

When it comes to medical news, Prince Fielder (neck), Yu Darvish (elbow) and Shin-Soo Choo (ankle and elbow) are progressing well from injuries and should be ready for spring training with no limitations. Matt Harrison (back), Jurickson Profar (shoulder), Martin Perez (elbow) are doubtful for the start of the season. Perez, however, has started a throwing program and Profar and Harrison should begin one in January.

"I think there are a few areas where we'd like to add some depth, and we may," Daniels said. "I think a lot of our internal candidates for these spots there's been a lot of competition that's been created, both by some of the pieces that we've brought but maybe moreso some of the development of our young guys and the positive medical news were getting from the whole group that should be the best players on our team. I don't view it as an end date of putting a team together. There are moves (that) can be made, and we're going to take that approach. I do feel pretty good about the news we're getting on a lot of our guys and where that's gong to lead us."

Team awards: Harrison, who missed the season with back surgery, was named the 2014 Harold McKinney Good Guy Award in voting by the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Adrian Beltre (Player of the Year), Darvish (Pitcher of the Year), Rougned Odor (Rookie of the Year) and Robinson Chirinos (Richard Durrett Hardest Working Man) will be honored along with Harrison at the team awards dinner Friday, Jan. 23 at the Dallas Omni Hotel. Tickets are available on the Rangers web site. Proceeds from the dinner benefit the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.

Atkins signs minor-league deal: Right-handed starter Mitch Atkins signed a minor-league deal Wednesday. Atkins will be invited to minor league camp this spring. He went 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 28 games (22 starts) for Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi of the Atlanta Braves organization. Atkins, 29, is pitching winter ball in the Dominican League and has a 5.11 ERA in 10 starts.

Rangers toy drive: The team collected 6,965 toys and 50 bicycles for deserving families from low-income areas in Tarrant County during the 2014 Cowboy Santas Toy Drive. Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers and his wife Jessica were the honorary spokespersons for the toy drive.

Rangers looking for more ground balls

December, 16, 2014
When you evaluate what the Rangers are looking for in terms of a starting pitcher this offseason, ground balls become a constant theme.

With the Rangers trading for left-handed starter Ross Detwiler, they get a man who had fairly decent ground ball-to-fly ball and groundout-to-air out ratios.

GM Jon Daniels said Detwiler uses a sinking fastball designed to give the left side of the infield plenty of work. Detwiler also throws a four-seam fastball, changeup, curveball and has worked on a cutter.

In 2013, Detwiler’s last year as a starter, he threw first pitch strikes 55.7 percent of the time and had a GB/FB radio of 0.88 and GO/AO ratio of 1.33. In comparison, Yu Darvish had a GB/FB ratio of 0.72 and a GO/AO of 0.91 in the 2013 season.

And this offseason the Rangers have sought after pitchers who keep the ball down.

Justin Masterson, who signed a free-agent contract with Boston, was on the Rangers’ radar. In 2013, Masterson led the majors in GB/FB (1.45) and GO/AO (2.10). Tyson Ross, another pitcher the Rangers had interest in trading for, was second in the big leagues in GB/FB (1.39) and GO/AO (2.07).

Colby Lewis led the Rangers' starting rotation in GB/FB (0.50) and GO/AO (0.60) because he pitched more innings than Darvish.

(Read full post)

Patience is the key for the Rangers

December, 11, 2014
SAN DIEGO -- The Texas Rangers leave the winter meetings without making a major move to upgrade their roster.

A small move was made Thursday afternoon when the club traded two minor leaguers to the Washington Nationals for left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels wasn't expected to make a major trade or signing this winter.

"Looking ahead, we have good players around our core," Daniels said. "We've done that in a couple of small areas, certainly not the sexy moves. We do baseball moves. That's still our mindset."

The Rangers were in talks with several mid-level starting pitchers, something that was an objective in obtaining during the meetings. They were in talks with Arizona for left-handed starter Wade Miley, but he was traded to Baltimore.

Discussions about signing free agent right-handed starter Justin Masterson went nowhere as Boston snagged him when it lost Jon Lester. Detroit traded righty Rick Porcello to Boston, Shane Greene was traded to Detroit in a three-way deal, Brando McCarthy signed a free agent deal worth $48 million and Cincinnati traded Mat Latos to Miami.

This isn't to say the Rangers wanted all of these pitchers, but the high-end pitchers -- Max Scherzer, James Shields and Lester -- weren't going to get a look from anyone authorized to approve a contract from the Rangers.

"Those guys are off the lists, that simple," Daniels said.

Daniels will sign someone to the starting rotation and it won't be somebody names Shields or Scherzer. Now that next tier group of pitchers, No. 3 starters mainly, is thinning out. Even Daniels admitted that Thursday.

If anything, Daniels and his staff received confirmation from opposing clubs that the organization has valuable talent in the minor league system. Financially, the Rangers can do anything they want, but Daniels is taking a more responsible approach to spending money. It sounds like Daniels has an inner salary cap. He doesn't want to go more than $133 million, and he might have roughly $10 million to play with.

Why take on an additional $12-15 million in salary for a player who will be with you for one season? Waiting for the right deal seems like the smart play, at least for now.

"I think we’ll add to the group," Daniels said regarding starting pitching. "I couldn’t really characterized what well add. We'll have additional options when we get to spring training. There is value. We've been aggressive, we’ve traded prospects, spent money and they’ll be at times when the best move is to be patient."

You can blame a 100 things as to why the Rangers lost 95 games last season. The objective is to improve and Daniels is of the belief players such as Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo, Mitch Moreland and Yu Darvish will return better than ever from physical ailments. And there is hope that Elvis Andrus will rebound from his down season and Adrian Beltre won't start a decline.

Daniels has confidence that new manager Jeff Banister has the ability to merge young and veteran players into a clubhouse, hold them accountable and get them through a 162-game season to contend for the AL West.

If pitchers with one or two years left on their contracts are still available at the trade deadline next July, fine, then maybe the Rangers will do something.

Today? Probably not.

Tomorrow? Probably not.

"I felt like patience is pretty important," he said. "This time around."

Yu Darvish begins throwing program

December, 8, 2014
SAN DIEGO -- Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish, who missed nearly a month and a half of the 2014 season with mild elbow inflammation, started a throwing program on Monday.

Darvish made 25 throws from 50 feet on flat ground.

Last week, team doctors cleared Darvish to start throwing after an MRI exam on his elbow came back clean. Darvish has been doing some conditioning, and Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he was impressed with what he saw.

In 2014, Darvish made 22 starts for the Rangers and went 10-7.

After an Aug. 9 start at Houston, in which he lasted just four innings in a loss, Darvish complained of elbow problems. Darvish said he didn't experience any problems with his elbow during that game with the Astros but that it surfaced later.

Jeff Banister to meet the Prince

December, 8, 2014
SAN DIEGO -- Among the many items for new Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister to accomplish is meeting his players face-to-face. He did that last week with staff ace Yu Darvish and now he plans on a meet-and-greet with slugger Prince Fielder.

Banister has exchanged text messages with Fielder but plans, if needed, on visiting the first baseman at his Orlando, Fla. home. Banister said he's got a scheduled trip to the Dominican Republic in January so a visit to see Fielder could occur before that trip.

"We've met before on the field in different uniforms," Banister said of the visit he had with Fielder when they were with different teams. "I would love to do that and I would love to continue the process of making the phone calls. It's not just about introducing myself, there are follow up phone calls to each player. I'd like to get together with the entire staff now that we have the whole staff in place and we can spend a few days together where we can map out things we want to do for the rest of the offseason and plan going into spring training."

Last week, Banister called Fielder a beast in the middle of the lineup and while he didn't use that word to describe his potential cleanup hitter on Monday, he called him an offensive threat.

"You pay attention to where he was in the lineup," Banister said.

Fielder missed just one game over a five-year stretch until last season when he participated in just 42 games due neck problems that forced him to undergo surgery. Even when he played in a full-season, Fielder's home runs, RBI and slugging percentage declined for three consecutive seasons.

According to Baseball Reference's WAR ratings, which measures a players value, Fielder had a 4.6 ranking in 2011 and saw it increase slightly to 4.7 the following season. But in 2013 his WAR was 2.0 and of course last year it was -0.2.

"I'm not going to get into whether it's misleading or not," Banister said of Fielder's numbers. "I didn't watch him play last year, I saw some video and I know the man was injured. I know what I've seen him do in the past. Go back and look at the numbers against the Pittsburgh Pirates in what Prince Fielder did. My view of him is pretty good."
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Among the several topics new Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister covered with beat writers on Thursday was his conversation with staff ace Yu Darvish.

Banister met Darvish for the first time Thursday and watched him workout at Globe Life Park.

"Impressive man," Banister said. "He's much bigger when you stand next to him than when you see him from the dugout. Very impressive guy. Had a great conversation. Spent some time together this morning."

Banister said Darvish displayed some athleticism during his workout.

"Got after it pretty good," Banister said.

The manager has reached out to every player on the team either by text message, phone call or a face-to-face talk. Darvish, who had an up-and-down relationship with the previous manager, Ron Washington, was given a task by the new man in charge.

"It was a conversation between he and I, that initial get-to-know-each-other type of conversation," Banister said. "Gave him some questions to kinda chew on and think about and hopefully he'll get back to me on his wish list."

Darvish has been the Rangers' best pitcher since he arrived from Japan in 2012. But being on the disabled list every single season he's pitched for the Rangers is a slight concern for those outside of the organization. The Rangers know Darvish shows up in the best of shape, yet neck and elbow issues have put him on the DL. Darvish missed the last month and a half of the 2014 season with mild inflammation in his right elbow.

Darvish's absence in the rotation bothered Washington, who felt the club should have pushed him to pitch. But the Rangers wanted Darvish to take a more cautious approach, which seemed best, considering the team was out of the pennant chase.

That's all in the past now, and Darvish and Banister are starting to form a bond they hope will lead them to the postseason.

Rangers clear Yu Darvish for throwing program

November, 25, 2014
Rangers ace Yu Darvish was cleared by Dr. Keith Meister to begin his normal throwing program Tuesday.

Darvish, who missed the last month and half of the season because of mild inflammation in his right elbow, underwent an MRI exam and subsequent examination by Dr. Meister.

After an Aug. 9 start at Houston, where he lasted just four innings, Darvish complained of mild discomfort in his elbow. As a precaution, the Rangers placed Darvish (10-7, 3.06 ERA) on the disabled list in early August and he never returned.

When the season ended, Darvish went back home to Japan before returning to the United States this week to meet with Rangers officials. Darvish was doing conditioning training in Japan. Now back in Arlington, he will work out for the next few weeks.

Darvish, who made 22 starts, will begin his throwing program in December.

Notes: The Rangers finalized some roster moves with two teams overseas. Outfielder Jim Adduci had his player rights sold to the Lotte Giants of the Korea Baseball Organization and pitchers Miles Mikolas and Aaron Poreda had their player rights sold to the Nippon Professional Baseball's Central League.

Notes: Yu Darvish getting exam

November, 25, 2014
Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish is visiting team officials this week.

Items on his to-do list include meeting new manager Jeff Banister, checking in with pitching coach Mike Maddux and getting an exam on his right elbow, which had some mild inflammation toward the end of last season.

Darvish is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam and if the results are good, he's expected to begin his normal throwing program next month.

GM Jon Daniels said at the GM Meetings recently that Darvish is always in shape and doesn't have any issues regarding his durability. Darvish has spent time on the DL in all three of his big league seasons for a variety of reasons.

Darvish went on the DL after the mild inflammation was discovered and didn't return.

Chirinos wins award: It was nice to see Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos receive the first ever The Richard Durrett Hardest-Working Man award presented by the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Durrett, as you know, was a former Rangers beat writer for ESPNDallas.com. Durrett passed away June 17.

"I'm totally touched about the award," said Kelly Durrett, Richard's widow. "One of things I want our kids to remember about Richard was how hard working he was. He had so much dedication and drive and I still don't know how he got everything done in a day. He really did work harder than anyone I know. I think this is the perfect way to honor and to remember him. It's great that this could be done and I'm sure Robinson was someone Richard enjoyed working with and someone who is truly deserving."

(Read full post)



Colby Lewis
10 5.18 133 170
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182