A.J. Pierzynski with starting pitcher Yu Darvish.
Yu Darvish had a fantastic season in 2013, and he was rewarded for that recently by finishing second in the AL Cy Young voting behind winner Max Scherzer.
But Darvish struggled a bit in his final few starts, and after the season we learned he was dealing with a painful back issue that was chalked up to a problem with his sciatic nerve, which can be very painful and cause numbness, as well as pain, in the legs and back — not a good thing for a big-league pitcher.
Darvish had a follow-up appointment in Dallas this week with Rangers spine consultant Dr. Drew Dossett, according to a Rangers press release. The exam and MRI revealed the inflammation from the nerve irritation has subsided and all signs point to him being 100 percent well before the 2014 season begins.
The release added Darvish will continue a core conditioning program to help strengthen the affected area and continue to participate in his off-season throwing program. He's set to return to Japan soon after a few more days of working out in DFW.