Schilling: Don’t expect too much from Darvish
Since he has pitched with Byung-Hyun Kim and Daisuke Matsuzaka during his 20 MLB seasons, Curt Schilling says he knows a little something about how Yu Darvish could fare with the Rangers.
Kim, who was born in South Korea, and Matsuzaka, who was born in Japan, found little success at the major league level. During a Wednesday interview on The Ben and Skin Show [KESN-FM] Schilling attributed their struggles to adapting to a game that is more difficult, faster and stronger. And because he witnessed their problems up close, Schilling isn’t expecting different results from Darvish.
“It’s just a different world and I haven’t seen it transition consistently, yet, because it’s a different game, it’s a different speed, it’s a different level of competition,” Schilling said. “And you’re taking a guy who in his mind, I think he believes he’s one of the best in the world, which is something you need, and you’re asking him to change everything and that doesn’t generally tend to translate very well.”
Schilling suggests that Darvish’s routine must be adjusted. He can’t continue to throw the high volume of pitches like he did in Japan.
“His routine has to change,” Schilling said. “A lot of things have to change. If he’s going to pitch in the big leagues and he’s going to make 35 starts a year, he can’t throw as much as they’ve asked him to throw in the past.”
And after hearing the lofty expectations before Matsuzaka arrived in Boston, Schilling advises to be cautiously optimistic when it comes to Darvish. Matsuzaka was advertised to throw up to 98 miles per hour and possess six pitches, however, Schilling revealed that Matsuzaka’s speed was between 92-94 mph and he only had “two and a half legitimate big league pitches.”
“The hype generally tends to supersede what you’re going to get,” Schilling said. “Having said that, I’ve heard this kid is entirely different.”
He added: “He’s got electric stuff, but you’re talking about a six-day rotation. That’s literally another world compared to the world he’s getting ready to walk into.”
Now, the six-time All-Star wasn’t all doom-and-gloom when it came to the Rangers forking out over $111 million for Darvish. If Schilling had to choose between taking Darvish or C.J. Wilson, he said he would go with Darvish, “no question.”
“[Wilson] didn’t pitch when they needed him most,” Schilling said. “October’s when great pitchers step up and lead pitching staffs. I didn’t see anything that led me to believe that he was a guy that was going to carry a staff through the playoffs. … He’s not a No.1.”
Instead of re-signing with the Rangers, Wilson signed a five-year, $77.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels in December.
Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota