Yu Darvish held a press conference for the Japanese media. He has not done any interviews because visa problems have delayed his interpreter’s arrival to Spring Training. Here is what Darvish had to say after throwing live batting practice
Question: You said after your last bullpen session that you were looking forward to throwing to batters and see their reactions today, so how was it?
My command was very good and there was power on/to the ball, but the batters were pretty much just standing in the batter’s box so it was hard to judge.
Question: Chirinos caught you today and now 3 catchers have caught you, do you have any preference?
It doesn’t matter who catches me, I am concentrating on my form (delivery) and what I want to work on, so either if it’s in the pen (or on the field) it doesn’t matter so there is not much of a difference.
Question: So does that apply during the season too?
Question: Did you have any theme going into today’s session?
Since there are batters standing in the batter’s box, All I wanted to do what I had been doing in my 2 previous bullpens,
Question:You may have ramped up your strength a tad, but where you able to accomplish what you wanted to do?
Yes , I was able to do it.
Question: You said every year you need to work on your change up, how was it today facing batters?
I think I only threw one change up today, I think the others were sliders.but since my last bullpen it’s been really good and was able to get the feel for it, and today I think I was able to throw it well.
Question: But you don’t know how long that will last right?
Yes, I don’t know.
Question: Banister told us that he would like you to make all you starts, what are your thought on that?
Of course, that’s what everyone wants to do, I really have no comment on that
Question: Ever since you joined the Rangers, you had been throwing live BP on the first day, what are your thoughts on the change of program?
I don’t mind if we have live BP or not, but now I am able to throw in the bullpen beforehand and not overthrow, so I don’t strain myself in some awkward places (in my body)
Matt Harrison is supposed to stretch out to 120 feet today in his throwing program. He is still not planning to throw off a mound for at least another month.
Leonys Martin has arrived in camp. Said he worked hard on his baserunning this off-season. Wants to the Rangers leadoff hitter.
The Rangers hired Dwayne Murphy as a Minor League outfield instructor. Murphy was a Gold Glove outfielder for the Oakland Athletics and one of the best ever. Martin will get a lot of time with him.
Everybody is in camp. Carlos Peguero is here. The left-handed hitting outfielder will join Joey Gallo as the Rangers starting offensive tackles for Russell Wilson.
Michael Kirkman is playing catch today.
IF Elliot Johnson and LHP Edgar Olmos – both acquired in the past couple of days – are also in camp.
Pitchers are throwing live batting practice today. Robinson Chirinos will catch Yu Darvish for the first time this spring.
Michael Young is in camp.
Leonys Martin is not in camp yet. He is one of two players who still have not yet reported.
He doesn’t have to be here until Friday but that doesn’t matter to third baseman Adrian Beltre, who has been here for two days. Plus Prince Fielder was in camp on Monday.
“He can’t be here after Prince Fielder,” Beltre said. “He’s in the box. Kangaroo Court. That will be a fine.”
“We’re going to get all his travel money,” Fielder said.
Manager Jeff Banister visited Martin in the Dominican Republic. The Rangers centerfielder has been working out down there and Miami.
“I watched that guy and he was getting after it pretty hard,” Banister said. “Everybody knows he is working hard.”
That’s not going to matter to Beltre. The “fine” for showing up after Fielder is only the start.
“He is going to hear about it the whole spring.”
Two days of pitchers and catchers and one thing is clear. The Rangers are getting off the field in less than two hours. New manager Jeff Banister believes in short workouts, get it done right and get off the field with not much standing around.
“Through the years found what works best,” Banister said. “Listening to players, watching what’s successful, what’s not. The three hours of play, 13 minutes of action. There can be a lot of standing around in baseball. We talked about that prior to coming to spring training. Talked about it again this morning.
“Getting the player out on the field and getting them in baseball shape during baseball activity. Eliminating the mundane, eliminating the standing around because we want our men to function at a high level in not only low-stress situations but high-stress situations. The toughest thing in baseball is to recreate that. Keeping them engaged all the time. So we try to structure a workout every day that that happens is paramount to me.”
The idea is that reducing the time that players stand around on the field reduces the risk of injury.
That may be the case but last year the Rangers had a highly-efficent, well-run camp with their workouts also getting done in two hours or less.
One distinct difference this year is that pitchers are throwing in the bullpen the first time out rather than live batting practice. That was something Banister decided after talking with pitching coach Mike Maddux.
“Obviously, I like live batting practice, but there is a process getting to live batting practice,” Banister said. “There’s a process to getting to intersquads. To real games, to nine innings. I’m a process-driven guy. I think as soon as you sell out to the production early right or wrong it’s my opinion, you miss the process. Detail is process-oriented.
“John Wooden, the first thing he had freshman do: put on their socks. because if you don’t put socks on the right way you get blisters. If you get blisters you can’t play. That may be old school but when you think about it really and truly it works out here with these guys too.”
If Adrian Beltre does not get 600 plate appearances this season, the Rangers have the right to void his 2016 contract. General manager Jon Daniels said he does not want that to be a distraction and suggested the Rangers may eliminate that right and bring Beltre back regardless.
“It’s a possibility.” Daniels said.
The Rangers have signed pitcher Jamey Wright to a Minor League contract and invited him to camp. He will be a candidate for the bullpen. The Rangers now have 62 players coming to camp.