Yu Darvish will toe the rubber and throw the first pitch for the Texas Rangers this season when they face the Philadelphia Phillies on March 31 at Globe Life Park. From now until then, Darvish won't face any big-league hitters.
His next outing will come in a minor-league game in Surprise, Ariz., where he'll attempt to hit the 80-pitch mark. Assuming all goes well, that would have Darvish at seven innings or so, and the Rangers want to get other guys vying for spots innings against big-leaguers. On March 27, he'll get the start at Globe Life Park against Mexican League champ Quintana Roo before starting the opener four days later.
So far this spring, Darvish is 2-0 with a 3.68 ERA in four starts and he's been more efficient by relying more on his fastball than his devastating breaking stuff, which he tends to get too cute with at times and rack up high pitch counts.