Darvish Turns in Successful Rehab Debut | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Darvish Turns in Successful Rehab Debut

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

    There was a big return to the mound in area baseball on Sunday, and it wasn't Cole Hamels returning to the Rangers' mound for the first time in a week and a half after he had to skip one start.

    While Hamels was struggling to get out of the fifth inning of the Rangers' loss to the Angels on Sunday, Yu Darvish was taking the hill at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco to make his first rehab start with the Double-A Rough Riders after a 14-month layoff following Tommy John surgery.

    It's gotten to the point, especially after the Rangers won the West last year after acquiring an ace, Cole Hamels, at the deadline, that it seems the Rangers fans have forgotten about Darvish.

    The Rangers definitely haven't forgotten about the perennial Cy Young candidate, and he was dropping jaws with his results on Sunday in his first rehab outing. Darvish pitched two scoreless, hitless innings. He struck out two and walked one while averaging 94 mph with his fastball. He even touched 97 mph.

    "Most of my concern was trying not to blow [out] my elbow again," Darvish told reporters. "That was my first concern. I'm very happy about today's outing."

    The plan is for Darvish to likely return at the end of the month in a home series against the Pirates, but there's an outside shot he could come back earlier. Either way, it's coming soon, and Darvish will aim to let everyone know he shouldn't be forgotten.