Injured Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is feeling good while continuing his post-Tommy John rehab.
His right arm is out of the cast and he’s progressed from range-of-motion exercises to working on building up the muscle in his shoulder and forearm.
About the only thing not going as planned is his home television. Through an interpreter, Darvish said he’s been unable to watch the Rangers on the road because his television on the blink.
“I try to watch it on MLB.TV but it’s blacked out,” he said. “It’s not a joke. The TV is really bad.”
Darvish said his English has started to slip because he’s spent less time around his teammates. He’s interested in applying for U.S. citizenship but is worried his English isn’t up to snuff.
“I heard [Miami Marlins pitcher] Jose Fernandez got his American citizenship,” Darvish said. “I asked the team if they could help me with my English, I’d like to get citizenship. The problem for me is when the team is on the road I’m not with my teammates so I’m not really speaking English, which is getting worse.”
He finally was able to shed the brace April 24 that he had been wearing since his surgery in March.
“So it’s a lot more convenient for me right now. I really have a positive mindset doing what I can each day,” he said. “I actually didn’t have much pain compared to the other players who had surgery, so if I wanted to push it I could have, but I just want to take it slow and take the right steps towards recovery.”
Darvish will continue to rehab five times a week at team physician Dr. Keith Meister’s TMI clinic while the Rangers begin a seven-game road trip in Houston on Monday.
Monday’s game in Houston will be manager Jeff Banister’s first as a manager in his hometown. He grew up about 30 miles south in La Marque and attended the University of Houston. Ticket requests from friends and family have been heavy for the Rangers’ three-game series.
“I’m as excited as I was Opening Day to get to go back to Houston, what was my hometown,” he said. “It will be fun to see some old faces because I know they’ll be there. People I haven’t seen in a long time.”
Moreland on trip
First baseman/designated hitter Mitch Moreland, who had a loose bone chip removed from his left elbow last week, will travel with the team this week. He expects to get the sutures out Monday or Tuesday in Houston and says he’ll be ready to resume throwing and batting practice immediately. Moreland is likely to have a rehab assignment in the minors before returning to the club, Banister said.
Right-hander Nick Tepech (right elbow inflammation) continues to rehab while on the 60-day disabled list. Tepesch has been dealing with elbow pain since late in spring training.
“Working on trying to get back out there,” he said. “You do things to try to speed up the process but your body is going to ultimately heal itself and there’s only so much you can do.”
Tepesch has been getting treatment and doing a strengthening program but doesn’t yet have a return date.
Kela not impressed
Rookie pitcher Keone Kela earned his first-career victory after pitching the 10th inning Saturday night. Kela was happy with the team’s win, of course, but wasn’t all that interested in keeping the game ball. Kela said he’d feel different about it if it was a game he had started.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760