1) Derek Holland has become his long-toss partner. Derek has had some pretty good stuff to say about him and his performance. Darvish also throws right and left handed, to help with balance he explains.
2) Darvish has thrown two live batting practice sessions at about 80% to multiple minor league batters. Only Mike Olt made real contact.
3) He has also taken some pitchers fielding practice and bunting drills. Wash is stressing defense with his pitchers, so is 18 time Gold Glove winner Greg Maddux. In Japan, he was in a league with a DH so he didn’t hit much. Although they do have interleague play and he did get a few at bats.
4) Some of the players have taught him some English and Spanish curse phrases.
A scout that saw his throwing session had this to say about him:
I didn’t get to see him live before this week and what I’ve noticed right away is the balance and delivery. Many guys will fall off the mound to one side or the other, but he is on a straight line to home plate. His mechanics look nearly flawless. You can see why he’s had so much success. He can repeat that delivery consistently.
I thought he went at it a little harder today than the other day. The velocity was up. I was told he didn’t really throw a splitter or a changeup in Japan, but I saw him throw a splitter in his bullpen session and a change and they had movement and good location. He’s got a bunch of pitches and I think he’s trying to see what may work and what won’t.
He’s an athlete and you have to like the build on him. He goes about his business.
All of this is very exciting. Until next time, Go Rangers.