Yu Darvish has insisted that nerves won’t be an issue in his regular season Major League debut on Monday, and while Rangers’ manager Ron Washington believes that the 25-year-old Japanese national will experience some degree of jitters as he makes his first start in a Rangers uniform, he doesn’t expect it to last long.
"He's only human," Washington said, per ESPN Dallas. "It's his first game at the major league level. He'll probably have some butterflies just like everyone else had their first time out there. I thought he did the settling down part as spring training moved along.
“This guy has pitched in big games before. I don't care if it's been in Japan or not. He's only human. He'll have some jitters. I just want him to go out and do what [Derek] Holland and [Colby] Lewis did and that's keep us in the ballgame."
In his debut, Darvish will face the Seattle Mariners--a team that, according to Washington is rapidly improving.
"They've got the same lineup, but the kids are a year older," Washington said. "[Manager] Eric Wedge is working his magic, which he's capable of doing. They are young, energetic, [Chone] Figgins looks like he's coming back off of a bad year and if he becomes what they thought they had, that will make them dangerous. The pitching staff is another year older. The bullpen is solid. They have a closer that can close ballgames down."