Yu Darvish threw another impressive round of live batting practice on Friday morning, drawing rave reviews from teammates and his new catcher Carlos Corporan.
He buckled the knees of several of the Rangers top hitters with his 60 mph curve ball, including Adrian Beltre, who bailed out on the pitch before watching come in over the plate.
About the only mistake from Darvish was a pitch he left out of the plate to Shin-Soo Choo, who hit it over the right-field fence.
“He was sharp, crisp, a lot of strikes,” said Beltre, who joked that he wasn’t ready this early in spring training for the bending curve ball. “I’d rather know it was coming so I didn’t have to buckle up.”
“Everybody was laughing because [Beltre] thought the ball was going to hit him and it was a strike right in the middle,” Corporan said. “It’s unbelievable what Darvish can do. He’s a professional.”
Darvish jokinly blamed Choo’s homer on the dry Arizona air. Choo, in fact, agreed.
“A deep fly ball to left field,” Choo said.
Corporan was stunned at how well Darvish was able to pinpoint his penchant for combining a fastball in on hitters, followed by a slider on their back foot.
“That’s his strength. Out of six, he got five. Unbelievable,” Corporan said. “He executed. That’s really impressive.”
A healthy, dominating Darvish was good to see, Beltre said, even if it came with an embarrassing moment.
“There’s no doubt he’s a huge part of this team, obviously without him it’s going to be hard to get that rotation in place,” Beltre said. “We hope that he’s healthy and we hope that he can stay like that all year.”
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760