The Texas Rangers announced that Yu Darvish will be making his debut on April 9 against the Seattle Mariners. Sponichi mentions that the team sold about 5,000 tickets for April 9 during a twenty-four hour period after the team made the announcement.
Sanspo and Nikkan Sports have posted Q&A's with Darvish, like taken from his press conference.
Thoughts on recording eleven strikeouts.
[Mike] Napoli did a good job calling the game. I felt comfortable on the mound.
Thoughts on the Colorado Rockies' offense.
Joe told me that clean-up hitter [Troy] Tulowitzki was a great player. I knew nothing about the other player. It may have been good that I did not know they had a good offense.
All six hits your surrendered were to left-handed batters.
That is the first I have heard about that. But in terms of addressing that, it is just a matter of improving my control. That must also mean I am throwing well against right-handed batters.
How are you using your two curves?
I use the slow curve early in the count and then the fast curve to finish batters off. I can do the reverse too. I have confidence [in the pitches].
What are some things you need to work on?
I still need to work on how I pitch in certain circumstances. I want to perform at the highest level possible.
This was your last outing in Arizona.
Everyone on the team has been great and I have had a good time preparing myself for the season. I feel I am pitching relatively well, considering it is still early.
On the pitch that hit Michael Cuddyer in the 6th inning.
It was a two-seamer. It is not like I was trying to hit him.
On your start.
I feel things are starting to come together. I am throwing more good pitches. Things are improving little by little.
You were elevating your fastball early on.
I was throwing a lot of four-seamers early on. Partway through, I spoke to Napoli and decided to switch over to the two-seamer. The [Rockies] did not look comfortable against the two-seamer. That is when things started to settle down.
On striking out eleven batters.
Napoli really did a good job calling the game and it made me feel comfortable on the mound. I think that, in turn, helped with the strikeouts.
Jason Giambi hit your fastball for a home run.
I fell behind in the count with the batter before him and gave up a double... I think I fell behind on Giambi, 2-0? That left me with just the four-seamer and he hit a pitch that was hittable. It was an honor that it was such a great player. It was my first home run allowed...
How do you grade your spring?
My body has changed since last year and this year I am still not quite sure what it means to be at 100%, so I can not really grade myself. I do think things are getting better.