Washington isn’t thinking twice about pitch count for Yu Darvish

Posted Friday, May. 17, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Ron Washington isn’t second-guessing his decision to have Yu Darvish throw 130 pitches in Thursday’s 10-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

The Texas Rangers manager felt Darvish was the best option to get through the heart of the Tigers’ lineup in the eighth inning, and Darvish said he could go one more inning in the dugout.

Washington weighed other factors such as the use of the bullpen from the previous week, and the potential need for relievers in three of the next four games with rookies Nick Tepesch and Justin Grimm starting, as well as Josh Lindblom making his big-league starting debut Monday.

“I felt like the one guy who could get through the big part of that lineup is the one guy I sent out there,” Washington said. “And he was up to the challenge and he felt good, so I sent him back out there. ... I have nothing to second-guess myself about.”

President of baseball operations/GM Jon Daniels said the organization does not have strict rules in place when it comes to pitch counts with their starters because there are several factors, from the pitcher’s recent workload to the bullpen and the upcoming schedule.

“Just like the front office is tasked with being mindful of this year and the next five, the staff needs to manage for this game and the next five months,” Daniels said. “It’s a balance. These things aren’t black and white.”

The 130 pitches were a career high for Darvish, passing his previous high of 127 on May 5 against Boston. Those two outings are the second- and third-highest pitch counts in the majors this season, trailing only Clayton Kershaw’s 132-pitch start on May 14.

Darvish said he averaged about 120 pitches in Japan, and is averaging 109.4 pitches this season.

“His workload is not overloaded,” Washington said.

Kinsler sidelined

Ian Kinsler was scratched Friday with bruised ribs on his right side. The problem started after he was hit with a ball stealing second last week in Houston, and flared up again after Justin Verlander plunked him Thursday.

“I flexed my core and strained something,” said Kinsler, who has been hit by pitches 54 times in his career, tied with Rafael Palmeiro for most in franchise history.

Kinsler hopes he’ll be ready to go Saturday, and added that his awkward slide into third base in the first inning Thursday had nothing to do with his injury.

“I came out of the slide perfectly fine except for a bruised ego,” Kinsler said.

Injury updates

Colby Lewis threw about 35 pitches in a bullpen session Friday, and came out of it feeling well and ready to resume his medical rehabilitation assignment at Double A Frisco on Monday.

Lewis is recovering from elbow flexor tendon surgery in July and has recently dealt with right triceps tendinitis. The triceps issue is something Lewis also had in 2010, and he was able to recover over the All-Star break.

“Hopefully it’s a similar situation,” said Lewis, who expects to throw four innings and 60 pitches on Monday.

Alexi Ogando, meanwhile, expressed little concern about right biceps tendinitis that forced him to go on the disabled list Thursday. Ogando had an MRI that revealed inflammation in the area but no structural issues.

Ogando said he could pitch through it if he had to, but “why do it if you don’t have to? I don’t want it to get worse, I want it to get better.”

Drew Davison 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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