SURPRISE, ARIZONA – The Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish on Wednesday stepped up his recovery as he threw his first breaking ball since undergoing right elbow surgery, and said he was pleased at coming through a pain-free session.
Darvish, who began to pitch from a mound in his last practice on Monday, tossed 20 pitches mixing up curves, cutters and changeups, but no sliders which weigh more on his right elbow.
“Regardless of how my pitches went, I’m pleased I came away pain-free,” said Darvish, who underwent ligament reconstruction surgery on his right elbow last March.
“I was able to pitch comfortably. My pitching form felt good and I believe I transmitted my power well. I have no fear in throwing curving types of pitches.”
Elsewhere Wednesday, infielder Munenori Kawasaki, who joined the Chicago Cubs on a minor league deal, had his first hit this preseasone, stole a base and had a walk in a 5-3 defeat to the Cleveland Indians. Kawasaki entered the game in the seventh inning.
He was asked to play first base and admitted there was some nerves, but was his usual cheeky self after the game.
“I was asked if I could go and I said yes, but was pulsating inside,” Kawasaki said. “I was desperate to get on base. I had a walk, a stolen base, I was outstanding. I’d have been the MVP had we won!”