Darvish Seems Ready for Return to Rangers After Strong Rehab

Yu Darvish appears ready to rejoin the Texas Rangers rotation for the first time since Tommy John surgery 14 months ago.

Darvish threw six scoreless innings Sunday for Double-A Frisco in his fifth and likely final rehab start before returning to the majors.

"I feel like I'm good to go," Darvish said through his interpreter.

Darvish last pitched in a major league game Aug. 9, 2014, before missing the end of that season because of right elbow inflammation. He had more issues the following spring and had surgery on March 17, 2015.

The right-hander from Japan will likely make his season debut for the Rangers during a three-game interleague series at home next weekend against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"Just act like it's going to be another rehab outing if I'm on the major league mound the next time. Just not too much pressure," Darvish said. "It was better than I thought it was going to be. I'm pretty happy with where I'm at right now."

Darvish threw 56 of 87 pitches for strikes Sunday. He allowed three singles and walked one against San Antonio, an affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

"I threw close to 90 pitches today so I feel good for that," he said. "I wanted to get the pitch count. That was the main goal."

Darvish had a 0.90 ERA in five rehab starts this month split between Triple-A Round Rock and Frisco. He struck out 21 and walked six while allowing only two earned runs.

After throwing 32 pitches over two innings in his first rehab start May 1, he increased that to 50, 54, 68 and now 87 pitches. He added an additional inning each start as well.

The 29-year-old Darvish was 39-25 with a 3.27 ERA and 680 strikeouts in 83 starts for Texas from 2012-14, after seven seasons in Japan. He was an All-Star in each of his first three seasons for the Rangers.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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