By Dayn Perry
Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish, whose first named will be punned a million humorless times in the coming years, made his U.S. major-league debut on Wednesday. In two scoreless frames, Darvish whiffed three Padres and surrendered two hits, including a one-out double to Orlando Hudson.
On the day, Darvish logged 36 pitches -- 26 for strikes -- and mixed in five different offerings, thus flashing the deep repertoire that made him so coveted this offseason. Varied location, horizontal and vertical movement -- it was all there. And this velocity graph from Brooks Baseball shows that Darvish is familiar with the old pitching chestnut about "changing speeds":
In Japan, Darvish crafted a career ERA of 1.99, and, counting the posting fee, the Rangers have invested more than $110 million in the 25-year-old. Considering the free-agent loss of outgoing ace C.J. Wilson (to the division-rival Angels), Darvish will have little time for an adjustment curve if Texas is to win the pennant a third-straight season.
While it's foolish to draw any lasting conclusions from two Cactus League innings, Darvish did nothing to disappoint on Wednesday.