Yu Darvish has unquestionably been one of the game's most electrifying starting pitchers over the past two and half seasons, ever since he arrived stateside after putting up a legendary career in Japan.
He finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2012 behind Mike Trout and Yoenis Cespedes and then came in second in the AL Cy Young voting in 2013 behind 20-game winner Max Scherzer while leading all of baseball with 277 strikeouts.
In his third season, he's still dominant. He leads the league in strikeouts per nine innings (11.1) and has seen his ERA "climb" to 2.97 after a subpar last month heading into the all-star break. And he's still looking for his first appearance in the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night in Minneapolis after missing last year's game with injury and not appearing in the 2012 game despite making the team.
But is he really looking forward to that first All-Star Game pitch? Doesn't seem like it.
"Not really," Darvish told reporters Monday through an interpreter when asked if he was excited about the prospect of finally pitching in the game.
“Of course, I feel very honored [to be selected]. I could pitch, but I haven’t been told [whether I will].”
It'd be a nice treat for Rangers fans, who are longing for anything positive at the moment, to see both Darvish and Beltre play. Beltre is certain to get in the game if he wants to, which he will, and with Darvish having last pitched five days ago, the chances seem high he will finally make that first All-Star Game pitch.