Early impressions positive for Darvish, Feliz
Newcomers to Rangers' rotation settling in quickly
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Ron Washington was shaking his head after he finished watching Yu Darvish throw live batting practice on Monday morning."He's got some serious stuff," Washington said as he walked from one practice field to another. "He can run his fastball inside, he can run it outside. He can sink it to the left and sink it to the right. He can hang you up with his breaking ball ... he's got the splitter. He can bring heat." Washington, like everybody else, still isn't sure how many different kinds of pitches Darvish throws. "He can take his fastball, sink it, throw it inside and make you chase it high," Washington explained. "That's three pitches just right there." Darvish, who was in the first group of pitchers and threw 34 pitches in his session, was among those Washington wanted to see up close on Monday. Another was Neftali Feliz. Feliz was in the second of four pitchers throwing on four different fields. He was facing the formidable group of David Murphy, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. The Rangers don't know how many pitches Darvish has in his arsenal. The Rangers are hoping Feliz will have at least three. The Rangers know he can throw his fastball but want Feliz to develop his breaking ball and changeup to give him the three-pitch mix needed to be an effective starter.
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.