Yu Darvish just keeps on being awesome.
The defending AL Cy Young runner-up made his Cactus League debut on Thursday after his intrasquad debut earlier in the week, and the results just kept on coming. Look, we all know spring performance is nothing to get too excited about, but when you have a track record like Darvish's and aren't a guy trying to prove your worth, it's always nice to see dominance in spring training.
That's exactly what the third-year Rangers pitcher did on Thursday in the first Cactus League game against Surprise, Ariz., bunkmate Kansas City. Darvish worked two innings and struck out four (all big-league hitters) while giving up just two hits — one on a broken-bat single.
With the Rangers' rotation full of question marks entering the 2014 season, some of which still might have answers awaiting down the road, as well as rocked by injuries to Derek Holland and Matt Harrison, the Rangers need Darvish to be an ace more now than ever before. And if his first two outings of the spring mean anything at all, you have to like his chances of a nice follow-up to his 2013 season that saw him lead the baseball world with 277 strikeouts and post a 2.83 ERA to finish behind 20-game winner Max Scherzer in the Cy Young race.