Big league transition begins for Darvish
Amid hype, Japanese right-hander throws first bullpen session
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish threw 19 pitches on Thursday that were literally seen, heard and read about around the world.Darvish, with somewhere between 100-125 members of the media watching every pitch, threw five minutes of live batting practice during the Rangers' first workout for pitchers and catchers. Mike Napoli was his catcher, Minor League infielders Ryan Strausborger and Jurickson Profar were the two hitters and Triple-A pitching coach Terry Clark watched from behind the mound. After the session was over, all involved were asked to assess the outing. "He had good command of all of his pitches ... sinker, four-seam fastball, slider and cutter," said Profar, a 19-year-old middle infielder who played at Class A Hickory last year. "He threw the ball on both sides of the plate with a nice easy motion," Clark said. "Just another BP," Napoli said. "He had good command and threw all of his pitches. He was only going 80 percent. It was not like game speed but the ball was coming out of his hand pretty good."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.