ARLINGTON, Texas – Major league hitters don’t want to hear this, but Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish has another weapon in his bag of tricks: He can pitch left-handed.
Darvish was caught throwing southpaw style by MLB.com’s camera prior to Tuesday’s game against Milwaukee.
Back in spring training of 2012, when Darvish first arrived with the Rangers, he was spotted fooling around with a lefty delivery. Tuesday’s tosses – the day after throwing a near no-hitter in Houston – prove that Darvish hasn’t given up on throwing left-handed.
Imagine the possibilities. Darvish could switch hands depending on whether the batter is a righty or a lefty. Would switch hitters try to switch batter’s boxes, depending on the count?
Or, if Darvish sticks to one hand each time, he could take up two spots in the rotation. He could start a series pitching right-handed and then take the mound again a couple of days later as a lefty.
The Rangers have experience with an ambidextrous pitcher. Greg Harris, who pitched for Texas from 1985-87, was a righty who taught himself to throw lefty. Harris even had an ambidextrous glove made so he could easily switch hands on the mound.
Harris wasn’t allowed to throw lefty with the Rangers, but he did alternate arms in an inning pitching for the Montreal Expos in 1995.
Perhaps a situation will arise where the Rangers will allow Darvish to throw from the other side, probably a late-season game that has no impact on a pennant race. That day is probably a long ways off, if it ever occurs, but it looks like Darvish is preparing for it anyway.