09/18/12 10:30 PM ET
Young nominated for Clemente Award
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
Darvish not changing repertoire
ANAHEIM -- Yu Darvish abruptly ended his routine between-starts session with the media before Tuesday night's game against the Angels when the right-hander was asked about a brace on his right knee as he leaned against a wall outside the visitors' clubhouse at Angel Stadium."I wouldn't have thrown a bullpen [session] if anything was wrong," Darvish said through an interpreter, making a quick left turn into the clubhouse. Darvish, who is scheduled to face Zack Greinke in Thursday night's series finale against the Angels, is 15-9 with a 4.02 ERA in 27 starts. He has 205 strikeouts while issuing 87 walks in 176 2/3 innings, holding opponents to a .218 batting average. Darvish has not cut down on his wide variety of pitches in recent starts, he said, in response to a question. "I don't think I've decreased or limited any of my pitches," Darvish said. "To people watching, it might look like I'm changing, but I haven't changed my repertoire." His remaining assignments will be against American League West opponents with whom he has become familiar. He seems to think that can work to his advantage. "I'm going out and pitching the way I can, as always," Darvish said. "Personally, facing teams and getting to know their hitters makes me feel very good." He was noncommittal about how the Rangers -- in first place for all but two days this season -- measure up to his expectations before making the move from Japan. "It comes down to the end of the year," Darvish said."If we win the World Series, then you can say [how good the team is]. We're striving for that. I won't have much to say about it until the end of the season."
Washington lobbies for Beltre, Hamilton
ANAHEIM -- Alighting on Tuesday evening in Angel Stadium, a ballpark rookie center fielder Mike Trout has illuminated all season with his brilliant play for the Angels, Rangers manager Ron Washington acknowledged Trout as an American League Most Valuable Player candidate -- along with two of his own athletes."Three guys, man," Washington said after a long pause when asked what he'd do with an MVP vote. "One is the kid you have over here, Trout. And [Josh] Hamilton and [Adrian] Beltre. I don't see Trout every day, but I see Hamilton and Beltre every day. I see they're very valuable to us." When someone mentioned Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera, Washington grinned. "There's four," he said, quickly adding another candidate to the list. "The good thing," Washington said, "is you [media members] have to make the decision. If it was me, there might be four MVPs. I'm biased, but you can't take anything away from Trout. He's the reason the Angels are hanging around. He's been so consistent in every part of the game." Trout comes into the three-game series with a .392 average and four homers and 15 RBIs in 13 games against Texas. He leads the AL in runs scored (116) and steals (45) and was passed by Cabrera on Sunday in the batting race after leading the league most every day since he became eligible. "Rookies like him come along every now and then," Washington said. "I don't think you'll see one like him come along in a long time. He can do everything." If there are slight flaws in his throwing and bunting abilities, Washington added, they're minor. "He's a complete player -- and he has fun. You can see the enthusiasm. He makes everyone better."
Roy Oswalt threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday and plans to throw another on Thursday, resting on Wednesday. Washington said he plans to have Mike Napoli catch the first two games of the series, with Geovany Soto handling Darvish in Thursday's series finale. Napoli has made two starts since coming off the disabled list on Saturday, missing 33 games with a left quad strain. Washington referred to Napoli's success at Angel Stadium -- he's hitting .411 there with eight homers in 15 games with the Rangers. The Rangers have had the best record in the AL for 27 straight days, and their 87-59 record matches the best in club history through 146 games.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.