Rangers’ Washington names Darvish Opening Day starter

Yu Darvish quickly has become the Rangers' ace.

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Yu Darvish will be the opening day starter for the Texas Rangers.

When asked by a fan Saturday at the team’s Fan Fest who would start the March 31 opener against Philadelphia, manager Ron Washington said he thinks "it’s obvious. It’s Darvish."

Darvish was 13-9 with a 2.93 ERA in 32 starts last season. He led the majors with 277 strikeouts and was second in the AL Cy Young Award voting.

The right-hander dealt with nerve inflammation in his lower back the last six weeks of last season, but his offseason rehab has gone well. He is still home in Japan preparing for spring training and the season.

Darvish started the second game last season, coming within one out of a perfect game against Houston.