SURPRISE, Ariz. Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish is scheduled to increase his pitch count to 30 in his next bullpen session on Monday morning.
Darvish looked “really good” during an 18-pitch session Saturday morning, pitching coach Doug Brocail said. Darvish was limited to 15 to 20 pitches since he was throwing on just one day’s rest. He threw 25 on Thursday.
Half the pitches Saturday were off-speed, the other nine were fastballs.
“He threw all his pitches, [and threw] probably the best slider I’ve seen,” Brocail said. “His break on [the slider] two days ago was good but not near the zone. Today, it was extremely good and in the zone.”
Brocail originally scheduled Darvish to take two days off and increase his pitch count on Sunday. But Darvish wasn’t happy with his Thursday session, which followed three days off. He told Brocail he no longer wanted that many days off between sessions. The time off had Darvish feeling lethargic on the mound, Brocail said.
“He wanted to throw because he felt a little choppy the other day. I don’t blame him for that,” he said. “Having the three days in between was a little too much for him.”
Brocail wants Darvish to focus on letting loose with his fastball on Monday to help build up his arm strength. Brocail said Monday’s session will be “lengthy.” Darvish will face hitters when he hits 50-55 pitches, Brocail said. He could reach that as early as March 27 or 28.