SURPRISE, Ariz. – Not only did Yu Darvish make his 2013 debut in an intrasquad game Tuesday, he unleashed his sense of humor.
Darvish, who pitched the first inning of the game, took jabs at teammates Elvis Andrus and A.J. Pierzynski following his stint.
Andrus made an error that extended Darvish’s outing to 24 pitches. He was also a little concerned with Pierzynski catching because he had heard stories about his fiery reputation.
“I had heard all the rumors about him from many people and I was kind of scared,” Darvish said. “Meeting him and talking to him, he’s a nice guy. He’s really comfortable to talk to. Even if I shook some of the signs on some of the pitches, he was comfortable with it. Overall he has a pretty big body so I was comfortable throwing to him.”
Darvish allow an unearned run after Craig Gentry reached on an Elvis Andrus error with no outs. Geovany Soto brought in Jurickson Profar with a sacrifice fly to left.
Darvish jokingly took issue with the play in the hole by Andrus.
“Overall I feel fine and relaxed, but because of that no-name shortstop that committed that error on the routine ground ball, I don’t even know his name, but because of his error I had to throw a lot of pitches,” Darvish said.
Andrus defended the play and said that Darvish’s reaction is further proof of his comfort level of his comfort level in his second year with the Rangers.
“He knows what he’s going to face,” Andrus said. “He has a plan against every hitter, against every team. It’s going to make a huge difference for him. He seems so comfortable right now. That in a pitcher, plus his talent, makes a huge difference.”
Pierzynski was glad he got to work with Darvish too. Geovany Soto had been the primary catcher for Darvish towards the end of the 2012 season and that’s the likely plan this season. Even though they worked together for just one inning, Pierzynski liked what he saw.
“He seems very nice, very polite,” Pierzynski said. “He can pitch. He’s got a lot of plusses from the right side. It was one inning on a back field facing your own team.”