FRISCO, TEXAS – Yu Darvish convinced his teammates that he is ready to return to the Texas Rangers rotation when he wrapped up his minor-league rehab assignment in style on Sunday.
Darvish, who underwent surgery on his right elbow in March 2015, proved that he is close to his top form when he pitched six scoreless innings while striking out six and allowing just three hits in an 87-pitch outing in a Double-A Frisco game.
If he feels no ill effects from the outing, the 29-year-old right-hander is expected to start in the Rangers’ home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 28.
“I went all out at the beginning without thinking about the pitch count, so I tried to loosen up where I could. I threw about 90 pitches so I feel ready,” said Darvish.
“My elbow is getting stronger and I’m regaining my game sense. I’m going to pitch my next outing like it’s another rehab session so I don’t put pressure on myself,” he said.
Darvish has thrown a total of 20 innings in Double-A and Triple-A games since January for a 0.90 ERA with 21 strikeouts. He has not pitched in a major league game since Aug. 9, 2014.