Rangers manager impressed with Darvish

Rangers manager impressed with Darvish

Published Jan. 11, 2012 7:19 p.m. ET

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers general manager Jon
Daniels may not be talking about Yu Darvish, but other members of the
organization don't mind spilling the beans about the coveted right-hander.

They also hope the Rangers can reach an agreement with Darvish before they lose
the rights to sign him on Jan. 18.

"He's a quality pitcher," said Rangers manager Ron Washington, who
talked with Darvish during his visit to the Metroplex two weeks ago. "His
abilities are as just as good as the abilities we already have here. The whole
key is if we end up signing him is to come in and be Yu Darvish. Everyone
that's here is who they are. We want him to be who he is. We're not expecting
him to try and put us on his shoulders."

Washington watched video of Darvish and came away impressed with his mechanics,
his pitching assortment and his ability to remember previous matchups against

Washington knows there will be some adjustments for Darvish if he signs with
the club.

"What he'll find here in the states is that the hitters over here will be
more aggressive," Washington said. "He'll have to make adjustments,
just like any other pitcher has to adjust. That's what the game is about,
adjusting and readjusting."

Right-hander Colby Lewis has started against Darvish when he was pitching in
Japan. Lewis won his only matchup against Darvish in 2008.

"If you're able to throw strikes, pound the strike zone and get guys out,
it doesn't matter what league you play in," Lewis said. "If you can
command the fastball and do what you need to do to get guys out, he's going to
have success here too. He's kind of got overpowering stuff, especially in that
league over there."

Lewis not worried about contract, status?

Darvish isn't the only pitcher the Rangers have engaged in contracts talks

Lewis said the Rangers have talked briefly with him about a new deal. He's
eligible to be a free agent following the season, but isn't too concerned about
his deal.

"Whatever happens, happens," Lewis said. "If I stay healthy,
then everything else will pan out. I'd like one (an extension), but we'll see
what happens. Everything's kind of slowed down while they try to get Darvish
tied up."

Another thing Lewis isn't getting worked up about is the possibility of being
the Opening Day starter. The veteran of the staff said he doesn't care
"one bit" about whether or not he gets the honor.

Former Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson was the Opening Day starter for Texas in 2011.

Napoli's ankle progressing

Texas catcher Mike Napoli, who hurt his left ankle in a play at second base in
Game 6 of the World Series, plans to resume running next week.

"It's doing all right," Napoli said. "I've been rehabbing every
day. I tried running on it probably a week and half ago, and it was kind of
bothering me a little bit. It's definitely getting stronger."

Napoli said that if the injury would have happened in the regular season, it
could have led to a disabled-list stint. As it was, he remained in the game and
also started Game 7. Napoli said he took a week off after the World Series,
which may have slowed his rehab. He started wearing a walking boot which helped
the ankle injury, which did not require surgery.


Napoli said he doesn't think the injury will hamper his ability to be ready for
spring training next month.

Like Lewis, Napoli isn't getting worked up about his contract. The Rangers and
Napoli are now working on a one-year deal but Napoli would like to remain in
Texas beyond 2012.

"I want to be here for a long time," he said. "I just let my
agent take of that business. I just want to be ready for the season."

Rangers complete staffs

The Rangers have tabbed Randy Ready as the organization's hitter coordinator.

The hiring of Ready was one of several moves the Rangers made Wednesday to fill
out their organizational staffs.

Corey Ragsdale was named the manager of the Arizona rookie league team.

Brant Brown will handle the hitting-coach duties for Round Rock, while Jason
Hart will hold the same position with Double A Frisco, replacing Brown.


The only staff to remain intact from 2011 is Class A Myrtle Beach.

The club also promoted Jake Krug to director of minor league operations, where
he will assist Tim Purpura.