It's hard to get excited about a pitcher throwing bullpen sessions on Feb. 29, other than the fact it's Leap Day and it happens just once every four years.
Then again, it is Yu Darvish we're talking about — a perennial Cy Young contender who missed all of 2015 only to watch his teammates shock everyone by winning the AL West.
Darvish threw from a full mound Monday for the first time since his last game action — March 5 of last year — before he was shut down only to have Tommy John surgery two weeks later. The best part of all that? He felt no discomfort and said he's rolling right along.
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“Of course, that I’m feeling painless right now, and it’s my hope that continues,” he told reporters. “I feel like I’m able to throw nice and easy, and throw the ball well. I had no pain, no problem at all.”
Darvish's session was all of 15 pitches, but it was a huge step after he'd thrown three sessions from a half mound last week with his pitch count escalating each time up to 25.
The timetable for Darvish's return continues to be mid-May to early-June, and while the Rangers insist they won't accelerate him, his good results so far could mean he'll be back on the sooner end of that window. Then, we'll finally get to see what a Darvish-Cole Hamels 1-2 punch looks like atop the Rangers' rotation.