Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers made it official on Friday, announcing that the Japanese Phenom will be wearing number 11 on opening day.
Darvish spoke through an interpreter joking about Ranger’s Ballpark,
“I looked at the right-field fence and I thought that was in too close. I was asking my general manager if they could move it back. I don’t know where they are on that yet.”
Texas General Manager Jon Daniels looked at Texas power hitter Josh Hamilton sitting in the front row and said,
“I don’t think Josh wants us to move them back. I’ll let them arm-wrestle for it.”
Darvish was just brought to Texas from the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan on a $60 million dollar five year deal (that doesn’t include the $52 million dollar posting fee Texas paid).
Darvish faces a dramatically different playing experience in Texas than he is used to in Japan. In addition to having to face Major League Baseball hitters, Darvish is used to playing in a dome one a week. In Texas he will face the hottest weather in Major League Baseball and will be playing on 4 days rest.
Addressing the rest issue Darvish said,
“Last year near the end of the season I went to four days’ rest. I still threw 120 pitches and still threw hard between starts. I didn’t feel any fatigue. I feel confident I can pitch through that again.”
As for the heat, Darvish said, “That comes from experience. I haven’t experienced that yet. Once I do it, it will take some adjustments. It will take time but I’ll get used to it.”
Addressing the weather Darvish said,
“Even in Japan, the label put on me was that I pitched better in the dome or I liked pitching in the dome. But the last few years, if you looked, I had better numbers pitching outside. I like pitching outside better.”
It will be interesting to see how the latest Japanese import fares in the Major Leagues.
Do you think Yu Darvish will live up to his salary and expectations?