HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 2, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers got some unnerving news last week when it was announced that Yu Darvish had a blister emerge on his right ring finger near the end of his near-perfecto against the Houston Astros back on April 2.
He was set to make his next scheduled start against the Los Angeles Angels this past Sunday night, and did, but things didn't go very well as Darvish struggled with control and left after five innings despite throwing just 85 pitches as the blister acted up again. Darvish said after that game he'd be fine for his next start in Seattle.
Well, that day is one day away as Darvish is on tap to start Friday night in Seattle, and the Rangers can't afford to have the blister be a persistent issue for their ace pitcher. They especially can't afford it now after Matt Harrison was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a back issue that appears to be more precautionary early in the season than a real serious issue, but they don't want their top two pitchers in the rotation going down at the same time.
Darvish is 2-0 this season with mixed performance — near-perfect in Houston and barely surviving against the Angels because of wildness — but there's no doubt he's the Rangers' go-to guy in the rotation.
Darvish threw a bullpen session on Wednesday before the Rangers' game with Tampa Bay and gave himself a clean bill of health, saying everything felt fine. But in interest of full disclosure, that's the same thing he said after the Houston outing and before the blister flared up again on Sunday night.
"I was able to command my pitches, and I was able to throw most of my pitches," Darvish said through his translator. "I think it went well."
The Rangers are hoping he's right this time.