Darvish Mixing Up Pitches in Early Rehab Work | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Darvish Mixing Up Pitches in Early Rehab Work

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    SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 19: Starting pitcher Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws during a spring training workout at Surprise Stadium on February 19, 2016 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    All this talk about Cole Hamels as the Texas Rangers' ace pitcher is so great. Wanna know why?

    Because they also still have Yu Darvish, who in some form or fashion, has been somewhat forgotten about after missing all of 2015 thanks to the acquisition of Hamels and the Rangers' surprise run to the AL West crown without their ace.

    Now, Darvish is set to be back on a big-league mound by late May or early June following Tommy John surgery last March, and he's off to an encouraging start in his Arizona throwing program.

    That continued on Wednesday when he threw 20 pitches from a half mound after throwing 17 on Monday. On Wednesday, Darvish told the Dallas Morning News he mixed in some cut fastballs while many pitchers in his situation would likely still be throwing nothing but good ol' fastballs.

    He's set to throw 25 pitches on Friday or Saturday and has reported no soreness whatsoever. We've always thought Darvish was special in terms of being a physical freak, and while the Rangers are going to take it slow with their prized right-hander, maybe he can get back on the lesser end of that projected window than the later end of it.

    Then, Hamels will have a buddy atop the Rangers' rotation, and it's going to be a beautiful friendship.