Think back to a couple of years ago when Yu Darvish was at his best as a Texas Rangers starting pitcher.
It was after one of his near no-hitters — against Boston, I think — when a still image went viral on Twitter. The picture was of Darvish and the six or seven different pitches he threw that night all super imposed on top of each other. The end result looked like one picture of a pitcher with six or seven different balls coming out of his hand and going every which way. Same arm slot, same release point, same everything. That's what's known as consistent and repeating, and that makes for perfect pitching mechanics.
Those mechanics might have Darvish pushing the Rangers' timeline, which is currently set for mid-May to early-June, for his return from Tommy John surgery last year.
“He probably has the best mechanics of anybody I’ve ever seen other than probably Greg Maddux,” new Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail told the Associated Press. “He’s so consistent and repeats so well. Not having to fix anything in his delivery, it’s going to speed things up, I think.”
Darvish is expected to throw 30 pitches in a bullpen session today, which will be his sixth from a full mound and could soon get ramped up to 55 pitches, when he'd face live batters for the first time.
“As much as I believe in the timeline, post [operation], when he’s ready to go we can’t just hold him back,” Brocail said. “Pretty soon he’s going to change the timeline and there’s not anything we’re going to be able to do about that. I don’t want him to get bored. I don’t want him to get complacent. He’s moving pretty quick.”