Rangers Set Plan for Darvish Debut

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We're mere days away now from one of the most anticipated pitching matchups in recent memory in Arlington.

And we have no idea who's pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday.

Nope, the day belongs to Yu Darvish, the Rangers' somewhat forgotten ace who hasn't pitched in a Rangers uniform since August 2014 and missed the entire 2015 after Tommy John surgery.

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Darvish has been very impressive in his rehab outings with his last coming on Sunday when he threw six shutout innings with six strikeouts in Frisco.

The Rangers have laid out a plan for Darvish's return, and it's obviously going to treated with kid gloves, and rightfully so.

The Rangers announced on Tuesday that Darvish will be on a pitch limit on Saturday — between 85-90 pitches after he threw 87 on Sunday in Frisco. So guess what? Say Darvish has a no-hitter going through six innings on Saturday, it won't matter. He's getting the hook.

The Rangers will look at the long term when handling Darvish's innings and his pitch counts with the hope he can be ready to roll in October for postseason baseball.

In fact, it'd be hard to imagine Darvish getting to 100 pitches any time soon, if at all in the regular season. Then again, all we heard about Darvish before he signed prior to the 2012 season was that he was a physical freak of nature and not like other guys. Maybe he'll change the game for Tommy John rehab, but the Rangers won't, and shouldn't, push it to let him.

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