Sep 24, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) wipes his forehead while on the mound during the game against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Last season, Yu Darvish averaged 108 pitches per game over 32 starts. Yu Davish did manage to stay for the most part healthy for the season. He did miss 2 starts around the all-star break and at the end of the season has some lower back issues. For the 2013 season, he left the game early on 4/7/2013 due to a blister, 7/7/2013 upper back strain 15 day DL, and lastly 9/9/2013 left the game with a leg cramp.
Although it isn’t noted if they were caused by wear and tear of the high pitch count. In 2013, Yu Darvish pitched in 17 games where he pitched 110 more pitches. Max Scherzer only has 12 games where he pitched 110 or more and averaged 106 pitches per game. Clayton Kershaw only had 7 games where he pitched over 110 or more pitches and averaged only 105 pitches per game.
Now I know comparing them to the 2013 Cy Young winners might not be a far comparison, but it does illustrate how winning pitchers were used less. The Texas Rangers do have a pretty solid bullpen like the Los Angeles Dodger and Detroit Tigers do. In my opinion, it would make sense to use Yu Darvish less and rely on the bullpen to finish some games.
One thing that kept Yu Darvish’s pitch count up was the 4 1-0 losses and the 2 bids for a no-hitter/perfect game. While it is an outstanding accomplishment to get a no-hitter/perfect game, there have been shared no-hitters thrown.
Looking forward to 2014, Ron Washington should try to reduce Yu Davish and other the pitcher’s pitch count. With the Texas heat, long season and an already shaky starting rotation, Ron Washington needs to make sure down the stretch they have the arms to finish in September. We already know the last 2 season they have stumbled to the end. This year with the big signings, it would be a disappointment if they repeated that theme. Spring training starts soon, hopefully we’ll see a difference with how Washington uses his pitchers.