Rangers notes: Yu Darvish had “amazing statistical year,” Washington says

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The off-season began for the Texas Rangers on Tuesday morning, and that meant looking back on the 2013 season. Ron Washington touched on a variety of topics during his season-ending news conference, including Yu Darvish’s sophomore season.

Darvish went 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA and a league-leading 277 strikeouts over 32 starts, and will certainly get consideration for the American League Cy Young. But he stumbled in his final three starts, failing to go six innings in each of them.

Darvish acknowledged that he had been dealing with a physical issue of late, but it has yet to be specified.

“Yes, he had something, but he never said it was an issue,” Washington said.

As far as Darvish’s season, Washington said: “It was an amazing statistical year. Darvish is a tremendous pitcher and this was a learning experience for him again. I certainly expect for him going into next year to take it to another level as far as his development and progress goes here in the United States.”

Darvish, much like the rest of the pitching staff, struggled at times to deliver a shutdown inning when he had been given a lead. He went through a stretch of three consecutive starts in which the Rangers were leading or tied after the fifth inning and the team wound up losing.

“I just think he was a victim of a pitching staff where he was the guy that had to really take advantage of whatever runs that were put up on the board,” Washington said.

The Rangers were slightly better than a .500 team, 17-15, in Darvish’s starts.

Breakout year

Martin Perez didn’t keep his emotions in check too well the first inning Monday night, but he eventually gathered himself and turned in a decent start against the Rays in Game 163. Unfortunately, it was not enough and David Price made the three-run lead he was given stand the entire game.

Still, it doesn’t take away from the season that Perez had. He suffered a setback in spring training by breaking his left hand, but took full advantage when he came up to the big leagues midway through the year.

Perez went 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA over 20 starts, and was among the top AL rookies this season.

“This was a big year for me,” Perez said.

Coaching staff back?

Ron Washington said he has not met with general manager Jon Daniels and others about his coaching staff for next year, but said: “I do intend on having them all back.”

The Rangers made a couple changes to their staff last off-season. They brought in Dave Magadan as the hitting coach to replace Scott Coolbaugh, who was demoted to Triple A Round Rock’s hitting coach, and also flipped Gary Pettis to third-base coach and Dave Anderson to first-base coach.

Pettis has been on the staff for all seven of Washington’s seasons at the helm, while Anderson, bench coach Jackie Moore, pitching coach Mike Maddux and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins have been in their respective positions for five seasons.

Moore will be 75 when next season starts, and has expressed an interest in staying in his role.

Briefly

• Ron Washington said he would be OK if Jurickson Profar remained in a utility role next season. “We have to wait and see how things shake out, but if we had to come back with him as one of our utility guys, I’m very comfortable with it,” Washington said.

• Washington on what he needs to improve on as a manager: “What I have to do is stay steadfast and continue to teach and continue to get these guys to think on the fly. Stay in teaching mode.”

• Washington on a lack of Rangers Ballpark’s jet stream to right-center field this season: “I certainly didn’t see that jet stream as often as we’ve seen it in the past … but when you start trying to look for things why you weren’t hitting for power or not doing this, I am the type of person where that’s an excuse. And we don’t use excuses. We just didn’t punch the ball out of the ballpark with the regularity that we have in the past.”

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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