HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 12: Yu Darvish #11 of the Texas Rangers throws in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 12, 2013 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Rangers begin their game schedule on Monday in Surprise, Ariz. Well, sort of, anyway. The Rangers will play their first intrasquad scrimmage on Monday, followed by another on Tuesday and then will get their first crack at another team on Thursday when they play their Surprise bunkmates, the Kansas City Royals.
Yu Darvish is scheduled to start the first intrasquad game, opposing some guy named Nate Adcock, as each will throw one inning of the seven-inning affair. Darvish will be followed by rotation candidate Tommy Hanson and then a bunch of "guys," with each throwing one inning.
The Rangers also announced on Friday that Darvish will start the first game against the Royals on Thursday when he'll be scheduled to throw two innings, or about 35 pitches, and he'll be followed once again by Hanson, who will throw one inning.
Darvish is the lone pitcher in the Rangers' rotation without a single question mark as he's coming off a year which saw him finish as the AL Cy Young runner-up while leading the world with 277 strikeouts. He's expected to be the Rangers' Opening Day starter on March 31 against the Philadelphia Phillies and presumably Cliff Lee.