When the Texas Rangers bid $51.7 million just to talk to Yu Darvish many people thought that they were nuts. The the Rangers went and signed the phenom pitcher to a six-year $56 million deal, the most spent on a free-agent right handed pitcher. Darvish, who is 25 years old, played the majority of his games in domed stadiums and many people think that he will struggle to transition to Texas’ sweltering summers. But the Rangers have a plan in place for their $108 million dollar man and are hoping that it will enable Darvish to become the pitcher he was in Japan, and not the second coming of Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Here is the Rangers’ plans to help Darvish transition to the MLB, according to Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated. Immediately after winning the bidding rights for Darvish the Rangers sent a shipment of MLBbaseballs so Darvish could begin training with them. Darvish will be on the same regimen as all the other Rangers pitchers during this upcoming spring training. The Rangers want to get Darvish used to pitching every five days (and not the six that he is used to).
Rangers GM Jon Daniels also made it very clear that Darvish will not be working into high-pitch counts like he did in Japan. Another interesting strategy that the Rangers will be using is to keep Darvish from pitching against AL West opponents during spring training. “The club doesn’t want their main competition to get familiar with his stuff and repertoire until the games actually count.” Obviously this is a strategy to try and give the Rangers an advantage once they begin the regular season and will be facing their opponents in the AL West often.
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