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60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)

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60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
Now that he has signed with the Texas Rangers we can look forward to lots of American League West games here in Japan. The Rangers have won the American League for 2 years running, but failed in the World Series twice against the National League camps. Will Darvish put them over the top? How will this affect the NPB to lose arguably their best pitcher?

Darvish was 93-38 in his career in Japan with a 1.99 ERA in 167 games (164 of those starts). He had a 0.98 WHIP, 55 complete games, 18 shutouts and 1,250 strikeouts. Opponents batted just .204 against him in his career.

I think in the first year he will do well, as he will be new and thus it will take time for the batters to pick up the ball in his motion. In the second year we will have to see how much a force he can be. This barring an injury or tiring from the longer season and or more jet lag. He will certainly get more run support in Texas than he got with the Fighters in his last year. What's your opinion?
Comments
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jan 27, 2012 6:42 PM ]

It will be interesting to see how Darvish does. On top of the adjustment of changing countries and leagues, another interesting factor is the huge change in stadium style. As mentioned, he will undoubtedly get more run support than he did while with the Fighters and pitching in the very pitcher-friendly Sapporo Dome. However, it would be nearly impossible to keep the same amazing ERA in such a hitter-friendly park like in Arlington. I hope he doesn't get caught up focusing on numbers like these, as I just don't see him duplicating them. I also see him as having a fairly successful first season, but I'll refrain from making any specific predictions. Expectations are sky high, but I believe Darvish is a mentally tough pitcher who will handle this pressure better than the flaky Matsuzaka. As a fan of Japanese baseball, I would like to see him do well, considering the mediocre performance of some who have recently made the move to MLB.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: Switch Pitcher | Posted: Jan 30, 2012 2:06 PM | LOT Fan ]

I think you're right on the stadium and other things you mentioned, but why do you consider Matsuzaka flaky?
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jan 31, 2012 4:13 PM ]

I think most Red Sox fans like myself can't help but consider Matsuzaka flaky. You just could never tell what you would get from him from game to game. He would throw a 1-hitter one game and walk 8 batters the next. He seemed to lose his mental toughness in MLB and started pitching around batters to a ridiculous degree. Maybe it was genuine control problems, but most people think he just lost his confidence to attack the plate and throw strikes. I could be wrong, but I don't think Darvish will have these issues.

I do wish Matsuzaka all the best. I hope he can recover from this serious injury and be an effective pitcher again. I think he is unfairly sometimes called a bust, as he did have some good seasons in MLB. But when you get posted for $50 million, NO ONE can meet expectations. This is yet another reason the posting system has to go, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jan 31, 2012 4:20 PM ]

Related to this topic, does anyone have Darvish's stats from when he pitched in the WBC? I don't recall him pitching that greatly, but I think it would be a small sample size as I seem to remember him being used a closer, not a starter. But I'm not sure if that was for both WBCs.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: Switch Pitcher | Posted: Jan 31, 2012 7:45 PM | LOT Fan ]

I see, so his lack of consistency made him flaky.

As for Darvish's stats in the World Baseball Classic:
Wins: 2 Loss:1, ERA: 2.08 , Innings Pitched: 13.0, Hits Allowed: 7, Runs Allowed, 4, Base on Balls Given: 6, ER: 3, SO: 20.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: Rocksfan | Posted: Jan 31, 2012 7:52 PM | CHU Fan ]

WBC stats are available at the official website.

Darvish started 2 games and appeared in 3 others in relief. IIRC he got the win in the championship game in relief. He went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA. He had 20 strikeouts, 6 walks and gave up 7 hits in 13 innings.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Feb 1, 2012 12:31 PM ]

Yes, unreliable is one definition of "flaky," so that's what I meant. He's been a very unreliable pitcher the past couple seasons. It didn't seem to be a matter of just your average inconsistency, but he seemed to lose his confidence to go after batters and attack the strike zone.

Back to Darvish, if he's healthy, I will conservatively guess he can win 15 games. He will be near the top of the rotation and will get a lot of chances. I think his ERA will go up and he will lose more games than he usually does in Japan, but he will also get a lot more run support. The Rangers have been to the World Series two years in a row and--other than the Angels--will play in a very weak division next year. So, I see them winning at least 90 games again. Darvish should get a fair share of these.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: Switch Pitcher | Posted: Feb 2, 2012 1:31 PM | LOT Fan ]

I saw Darvish pitch too long in many games last season, especially quite early in the season, and this got me second guessing their coach a bit. The coach was removed after the season, likely because someone else wasn't happy with him either.

The culture in Japan is more open to pitching beyond the MLB accepted wisdom. The Fighters, as you know, had questionable hitting and this made Darvish pitch well over 100 game pitches on several occasions. He wasn't rewarded on the times I saw, but he still pitched for the full season with no tiring doing the normal work of a starter.

He has differently improved since the WBC, as he saw he had to step up when he had mixed results then. His dominance has allowed him to experiment with new pitches and now he has more in his arsenal. Yet like you and I said, the second season will tell, as the batters, coaching staff and film will allow them to have a good look at him by then.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Feb 2, 2012 3:24 PM ]

Speaking of Darvish's pitch count, I'm curious to see how this will be managed by the Rangers. On the one hand, they might be very careful with him, considering it will be his first year playing in a league with a longer season and a much harder travel schedule. On the other hand, one reason--among many--Nolan Ryan probably likes Darvish is that he himself was a workshorse pitcher who pitched into his mid-40s and is not a big fan of the modern MLB attention to pitch counts. He's not the manager, but I imagine he has a strong presence.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: Switch Pitcher | Posted: Feb 2, 2012 6:44 PM | LOT Fan ]

Yes you are right at the highest levels of baseball on pitch counts, but here in the Jr. high schools and high school tournaments it is something completely different as you have young pitchers pitching over 100 game pitches several days in a row as they get close to the final championship. It has cost some players their young arms and so it is unknown whether they could have made it any further.

You have ambitious coaches not curbing the young men who think they can do multi-game outings because some have done so in the past and their arms have survived. My boy may escape such a coach because of his switching pitching ability, but I'm making it clear all the same at each level that they will not over pitch my boy's arm.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: SteveNovosel | Posted: Feb 9, 2012 11:03 AM | LOT Fan ]

100 NPB pitches ≠ 100 MLB pitches. MLB pitchers go at hitters more, so 100 pitches are likely at a higher velocity. NPB pitchers tend to nibble a bit more. I don't think there's anything untoward about throwing 120-130 pitches given how NPB pitchers are generally used.

That being said, I am unconvinced that the 130-140 pitch count games are that harmful, given the standard 6 man rotation and that the pitchers grow up throwing more pitches than their overseas counterparts.

It's also a bit strange to me that only in MLB is there the "repetitive use = bad" orthodoxy. You never hear complaints that a NFL QB is throwing it too much, or a sprinter is running too much. If the mechanics are solid, what's the problem with throwing a ton of pitches?

To the original question - I think he'll be a fine MLB pitcher. Will he be an ace? I think he COULD be an ace but Texas is a tough place to pitch. We'll see how he responds to being in a hot hitter's park all summer. I grew up in Texas and went to a Rangers-Yankees game in July once - hottest game I've ever been to, by far.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: al451f | Posted: Apr 4, 2012 10:33 PM ]

[Revitalizing old thread.]

I'm new to baseball, NPB or MLB. When you say 'nibble' what exactly do you mean? Fewer fast-balls and more 'trick' pitches - for lack of a better term?

I've read here that NPB pitchers will pitch as many as 200 practice pitches between games, whereas in MLB they'll do as few as 40. Is this a reliance on pure power behind the pitch or something of a cultural phenomenon?

I've heard MLB coaches saying they want to leave certain pitchers with 'more gas in the tank' for upcoming games, in post season games especially. What would a NPB coach say in a similar situation?
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: rhdorsey | Posted: Feb 3, 2012 1:28 AM ]

I think Darvish will do fine in MLB. He obviously won't be as dominant as he was in Japan, but I think he could be a solid #2 starter. The park may make it a little more difficult but I don't think this will be a significant problem. The main thing is for him to trust his fastball and get a lot of swings and misses and not trying to nibble.

Dice-K wasnt quite as good as expected and maybe he nibbles too much, but his main problem was he got hurt after his 2nd year and hasnt been the same since. His first 2 years were pretty good, including helping Boston win a WS title his 1st year.

On an unrelated note, what happens when a switch-pitcher faces a switch-hitter?
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: rhdorsey | Posted: Feb 3, 2012 3:43 AM ]

And here's and article I found that forecasts how Darvish will do in MLB this year. Their forecasting tool (called 'Oliver') makes translations from Japanese statistics based on the performances of 260 pitchers who have performed in both the US and the Japan Leagues from 1998 to 2011.

This is their forecast for Darvish:
WAR  ERA WHIP  W  L  IP   H HR  BB  SO HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
6.2 2.57 0.97 16 4 185 138 8 41 198 0.4 2.0 9.6
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Feb 3, 2012 9:59 AM ]

Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: Switch Pitcher | Posted: Feb 3, 2012 1:01 PM | LOT Fan ]

I had read about this and the rule that came from the it, but it was nice to see it on video thanks. The plan is to have my boy pitch one game one arm and the next game the other arm.

Only if both arms are rested and the game is very important would one allow that kind of switching go on, as then it becomes the switching that is dangerous instead of the arms of the pitcher.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: rhdorsey | Posted: Feb 8, 2012 1:13 AM ]

Thanks for the link to the video, but it itself didn't answer the question. A poster to the video stated that the batter can change once but the pitcher can't, but this is hardly definitive. I would think that the poster's rule is correct however, because it's similar to the rule where you can pinch hit for a pinch hitter in an AB but you can change pitchers only once, unless the pitcher gets injured; a relief pitcher has to face at least one batter.

I'd love to see Pat Venditte make it to MLB, which is very possible.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish ( How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: Switch Pitcher | Posted: Feb 8, 2012 2:16 PM | LOT Fan ]

There is another "Switch Pitcher" of note in the Brewer organization named Ryan Perez.

Video link here.

I haven't seen as much switch hitting here in Japan, so my boy will be a bit more frustrating here I guess, though he is a good switch hitter himself. He just leveled up to 120 km. in the batting cage at 10 years old.
Re: 60 Million for Darvish (How do you think he will do in MLB?)
[ Author: gotigersredsox | Posted: Jul 6, 2012 2:34 PM ]

[Old thread reborn.]

We're at the halfway point and Darvish has just won the fan vote to get the final All-Star slot. Any thoughts on his season so far? Or predictions for the second half?
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