The time is coming, and we're not talking about winter and mothers of dragons.
No, the time is coming for Yu Darvish to make his return to the Rangers after missing the entire 2015 season and the last month-plus of 2014. In other words, it's been a while, but the Rangers' co-ace is getting very close to his return.
Darvish was originally set to make his first rehab start with Double-A Frisco on Tuesday, but after throwing a bullpen session over the weekend, that plan was altered a bit. Darvish wasn't happy with his off-speed stuff in the bullpen session to live hitters, so he's opting to throw another one on Tuesday before making his first rehab start most likely on May 1 with Frisco.
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Will Darvish's targeted return date of May 16 be pushed back? Not necessarily. That date is still very much in play as the Rangers open a series against Oakland in the Bay and the A's pitcher-friendly park. If not then, he would likely be ready to roll in Houston against an Astros team he's traditionally dominated.
"He could be [back on May 16], but we're not counting on that," Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail told ESPN. "But if he comes back and says, 'Hey man, I'm ready to go,' the horse is out of the stable, you gotta let him run. If he says he needs another [rehab start] after five [innings] and 75 [pitches], then he gets another one, and we move on to a later date."