YU DARVISH
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   DODGERS - DL
Height: 6' 5" Bats:   R
Weight: 215 Throws:   R
DOB: 8/16/1986 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 21  
Birth City: Habikino, Osaka, Japan
Draft: N/A
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2007 JAP Hokkaido     208   210           15 5   1.82
2008 JAP Nippon Ham $2,900.00   201 136 208 44 24 10 2 0 16 4   1.88
2009 JAP Nippon   23 182 118 167 45       0 15 5   1.73
2010 JAP Nippon   26 202 158 222 47         12 8   1.78
2011 JAP Nippon   28 232 156 276 36 28 10 6   18 6   1.44
2012 AL RANGERS $5,500.00 29 191.1 156 221 89 29 0 0 0 16 9 0.22 3.90
2013 AL RANGERS   32 209.2 145 277 80 32 0 0 0 13 9 0.194 2.83
2014 AL RANGERS $11,000.00 22 144.1 133 182 49 22 2 1 0 10 7 0.241 3.06
2015 AL RANGERS - DL $10,000.00                          
2016 AL RANGERS $10,000.00 17 100.1 81 132 31 17 0 0 0 7 5 0.214 3.41
2016 PCL ROUND ROCK   2 7 3 7 3 2 0 0 0 0 1   2.57
2016 TL FRISCO   5 20 14 24 7 5 0 0 0 1 1   2.25
2017 NL RANGERS $11,000.00 22 137 115 148 45 22 0 0 0 6 9 0.225 4.01
2017 NL DODGERS   3 18 16 22 4 3 0 0 0 2 0 0.239 2.50
Today's Game Notes
  • July 29, 2017: If Yu Darvish's last start with the Rangers was his outing against the Marlins, there are better ways it could've gone. He gave up the most runs in his career and had his second-shortest outing in what ended up being a 22-10 rout at the hands of Miami. As it turns out, there might've been a reason behind that. After reports surfaced that Darvish was tipping his pitches, the right-hander confirmed that he was. 

    "I felt like they knew it," Darvish said. "I didn't know if I was tipping or not. I watched the video, and when I would throw a fastball, I paused. And then breaking ball was faster [in my delivery]."

    He also said he wouldn't have known about the tipping if the scout that saw it hadn't told the media, and for that, he was grateful
    .

    "It's hard to find. I don't know why the Marlins scout said that to the media," Darvish said. "Because now I can fix it."


    Manager Jeff Banister agreed, saying that if the Rangers discovered something about an opponent, they wouldn't "go tell the rest of the world, right?" Banister also said that while teams have eyes on everything throughout games, sometimes things slip through
    .

    "We scout ourselves every night. We scout the other team every night," Banister said. "The pair of eyes that are on everything going on on the field. These are things everybody looks for. ... We'd love to think everything that's possible gets seen and there are people who are charged with watching and scouting. Sometimes subtle things, in real time, get through."

    On the other side of things, the Marlins denied having anything on Darvish. Marlins manager Don Mattingly chalked it up to his guys simply having a good night. (S Butler - MLB.com - July 30, 2017)

  • Aug 4, 2017:  At the Dodgers' hotel, hours before he dazzled for seven scoreless innings at Citi Field in his Dodgers debut, Yu Darvish met with general manager Farhan Zaidi, the man who engineered the blockbuster deal with the Rangers that brought the electric right-hander to Los Angeles minutes before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

    Darvish and Zaidi went over how the righty would attack the Mets' hitters in his first start with a new team. They discussed pitch location and selection, how Darvish could best use his vast arsenal. Later, when Darvish arrived at the stadium, he would have the same discussions with his catchers, Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes. But for now, he had one question.

    "Is it really gonna work?" At the end of a 6-0 Dodgers win in the series opener in New York, in which Darvish struck out 10 Mets while holding them to three singles and a walk, he had his answer. The line, as sparkling as it is, doesn't capture the artistry of Darvish at his finest, his array of pitches kaleidoscoping to every corner of the zone.

    This game was an answer, too, to the question: How can the team that has been baseball's best get better? Darvish's acquisition was a move for October. His win in his debut puts Los Angeles at 77-32, 45 games over .500. Far more importantly, it showcased the difference-making ability of the man who could be following Clayton Kershaw in a postseason series. 

    "All I'm saying is, you better not strike out three times in the first game," Grandal said. "Because you might be headed for a big surprise in the second." "He adds another ace, in my opinion," said the Mets' Jay Bruce. "He's going to be right there when the bell rings. He's one of the best pitchers in the game and they just added him. It doesn't make for an easy lineup of pitchers to go through."

    "The energy, with us coming here, packed house -- you don't want to say 'playoff atmosphere,' but I think the excitement for us as coaches and players for Yu, there was a lot of energy," Roberts said. "It's one start, but for us, he did everything that we hoped he would do." (D Adler - MLB.com - Aug 5, 2017)

  • Aug 5, 2017:  It's not unusual for a beloved player to take out an ad in his old team's city newspaper to thank the fans for their years of support. Yu Darvish did it after being dealt from the Rangers -- the only Major League team he had ever known -- to the Dodgers.

    While players often give their thanks, you don't often see teams do it -- especially after trading a player. The Rangers bucked those trends, though. The team took out a full-page ad in the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's national daily paper. You can check it out below:

    "To Yu Darvish,

    In Appreciation for your dedication to hard work and many accomplishments.

    Since 2012,

    Thank you for an All-Star performance.

    From your Texas Rangers family"

    It's a fitting tribute for the fan favorite and ace who fronted the Rangers staff for the last half-decade. ( M Clair - MLB.com - Aug 6, 2017)

Personal
  • Yu's grandfather was a travel agent in Iran and sent his son, Farsad, to the United States in 1977 to attend high school in Massachusetts.

  • The son of Farsad, an Iranian father, and Ikuyo, a Japanese mother, Darvish was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. He has never lived outside his birth country, but he has traveled to Iran and the United States, where his parents met while studying at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. He remembers his father pushing him toward soccer as a child, but he found something enchanting about the baseball games he saw on television. When he got his first Little League hit, he was hooked.

  • His lanky 6-foot-5-inch build and distinctive facial features would be enough to make him stand out anywhere, but in a homogenous land, a family name that sounded like none other gave him unwanted attention growing up.

    “Kids used to say stuff all the time about how I was different,” Darvish said in Japanese, playing down the suggestion that wearing the national team uniform gave him extra satisfaction in light of such teasing. “It hasn’t been an issue since I was little.”

  • The Nippon Ham Fighters selected Darvish in the first round of the 2004 draft as a high schooler. By then, he was known across the country for having pitched a no-hitter in the spring version of a prestigious national high school baseball tournament that March. He earned a bad-boy image later for being suspended from high school for smoking a cigarette, illegal for minors here, and posing nude for a magazine in 2007. His devilish laughter at the mention of those incidents is a hint that rebelliousness still lurks within him.

    But lost in the commotion over his defiance off the field and his vast natural athleticism on it is an astounding aptitude for pitching mechanics that those who know him describe with the highest admiration.

  • In 2005, Yu turned pro at age 18. His pro career got off to a rocky start when he was caught smoking in a pachinko parlor on an off day during his first spring training, despite not being old enough to legally smoke or gamble at the time.

  • After going 5-5 with a 3.53 ERA in his rookie season of 2005 with the Nippon Ham Fighters, Darvish had a breakout year in 2006, going 12-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 115 strikeouts. (Neither season is posted in his STATS, above.)

  • In 2006, Darvish earned the Japan Series MVP award in his first full season of pro ball—when he was just 19 years old. Yu won the clincher as the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters captured their first championship in 45 years.

    In 2007, Yu won the Sawamura Award as Japan's top Major League pitcher.

  • In August 2007, Darvish acknowledged reports of a relationship with the Japanese actress, Saeko, in a post-game interview. He also announced that they were planning to get married, and that Saeko was pregnant with their first child. The couple married in November 2007, in what Japanese tabloids reported was a shotgun wedding.

    They have two sons, but divorced in 2012. Coincidentally, Darvish's divorce was finalized on the same day that he officially signed with the Texas Rangers.

  • In August 2008, Yu pitched for Team Japan in the Beijing Olympics.

    Then, he was a star for Japan's team in the World Baseball Classic. During the WBC there were rumors Darvish would post, making himself available to sign with a MLB team. But the posting price was rumored to be $10 million, which might be a little tough to come up with in economy-wracked clubs.

  • Before Darvish left Japan for Texas back in 2012, he told a reporter via an interpreter: "I don't need much motivation—I'm never satisfied until I win all the games and have an ERA of 0.00. I want to throw a faster fastball, I want a sharper curve. I want to improve all my pitches."

  • In 2012, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Darvish as the #1 prospect in the Rangers organization.

  • While in 2012 spring training, Yu would bounce around from guy to guy, getting to know each teammate. He even learned some Spanish.

  • During seven seasons in Japan, Darvish achieved rock-star status. He has been in the spotlight so long that he doesn't appear to be the least bit bothered by it in the United States. His poise is apparent right away.

  • In 2013, Darvish made a $25,000 donation to help support City of Dallas RBI, which allows nearly 2,000 youngsters to participate in organized youth baseball programs.

  • Darvish doesn't believe in the concept of the ace pitcher.

    A team's best starting pitcher has the same task as the weakest link of the rotation—to allow fewer runs than the opposing pitcher while working deep into a game—and no one pitcher should be placed on a pedestal above the other four.

    "All starting pitchers have the same goal, and it's a unit," Darvish said  "I think all the starting pitchers have to support each other."

  • January 2015: Darvish has a new girlfriend. In November he tweeted to his 1.24 million followers that he was dating Seiko Yamamoto, a four-time world wrestling champion.

  • May 2015 brought a lawsuit in which Alex Witmer, a former personal assistant who was hired to care for Davish's three dogs, and three birds in Texas. Witmer claimed one of the dogs "jumped up" and bit him on the cheek and upper lip, sending him to the hospital. The lawsuit also alleged that Darvish's management company fired Witmer when he complained.

    Two months later, Darvish tweeted that his son had been born. His longtime girlfriend, Seiko Yamamoto, won miltiple gold medals for Japan at the world wrestling championships. Yu said that the plan to wed soon.

    Then, in October, the lawsuit with his personal assistant was settled. No terms were divulged, and neither side may comment.

    Then, just a few weeks later, in October 2015: The 26-year-old younger brother of Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish was arrested on suspicion of running a gambling ring for profit and gambling on baseball games, police said Tuesday.Sho Darvish allegedly took around 1,850 bets, each for 10,000 yen (about $90), on results and scores of 16 major league games and 28 Japanese professional baseball games held between May 12 and 18. -- via a phone ap.

    Betting on baseball games is illegal in Japan. Depending on the report, he allegedly collected anywhere fro, $85,000 to $150,000.

  • January 19, 2016: Darvish said he is not and has never been involved in gambling activities amid a Major League Baseball investigation after the arrest of his younger brother in Japan. Darvish issued a statement through his agent that says he understands MLB must conduct an investigation.

    "I am certain that they will find that I had no involvement in this matter whatsoever," Darvish said in the statement through his representatives at the Wasserman Media Group.

    Sho Darvish was arrested in October in Japan for allegedly running an illegal gambling ring that reportedly took about 1,850 bets on MLB games as well as professional baseball games in Japan. The arrest came after an investigation of more than a year.

    It was unclear if any bets were taken on games involving the Rangers. The Japan Times said Osaka police have not accused Yu Darvish of any wrongdoing. MLB spokesman Michael Teevan told the Japan Times in an email that the league is aware of situation and looking into it per standard protocols.

    "I will not comment on this matter again out of respect for Major League Baseball's investigation and I am focused on preparing for the upcoming season," Yu Darvish said.In January 2016, Darvish was cleared of any involvement in his brother's alleged gambling activities.

  • August 24, 2016: Darvish hit his first major league home run. The exit velocity of Darvish's first career homer was 107 mph, according to Statcast™, and the estimated distance was 410 feet. It was the first home run by a Rangers pitcher since Bobby Witt against the Dodgers on June 30, 1997. That was the first home run ever by an American League pitcher in Interleague Play. (T.R. Sullivan - MLB.com)

  • Darvish is a huge star in Japan and has appeared on the cover of many of the country's magazines, including GQ. He was named GQ's "Man of the Year" in February 2012.  (Kruth - MLB.com - 10/3/16)

  • 2017: Darvish represented Japan in the World Baseball Classic.

    TRANSACTIONS

  • After the 2011 season, the Nippon Ham Fighters posted Darvish. And on December 19, 2011, the Texas Rangers posted the winning bid of $51,703,411.

  • January 18, 2012: Darvish signed with the Rangers for a six-year, $56 million contract.

  • July 31, 2017: Texas Rangers traded RHP Yu Darvish to Los Angeles Dodgers for 2B Willie Calhoun, RHP A.J. Alexy and SS Brendon Davis.
Pitching
  • Darvish has both a 90-94 mph two-seam sinking FASTBALL and a 92-98 mph four-seamer. He can CUT his fastball at 89-90 mph, has an 87-90 mph SPLITTER and also has a devastating sinking 81-82 mph SLIDER, excellent late rotation on his 77-79 mph CURVEBALL, will show a 68-79 mph slow curveball, and has an 86-88 mph CHANGEUP.

    His heater plays up because it has quality life and he has excellent command. And he can also cut it. He actually has two versions of his curve: a harder version that gets swings-and-misses, and a slower version to get ahead in the count. He keeps hitters guessing. (May, 2016)

  • In 2016, Darvish used his pitches with the following frequency: 4-seam fastball 42.3 percent of the time; Sinker 17.3% of the time; changeup 2.1%; Slider 17%; Curve 9.7%; Cutter 9.3%; and his slow curve 2.4% of the time.
  • Yu is able to locate his pitches extremely well. He has excellent command.  You would have a hard time finding any pitcher with as exceptional control of every pitch in his repertoire as Darvish has.
  • His tentacle-like limbs gave way to an exaggerated, sweeping pitching motion when he first turned pro as he tried to wind his long arms and legs through the twists of his delivery. His motion, while inefficient from a physics standpoint, produced impressive baseball results: records of 5-5 with a 3.53 ERA and 12-5 with a 2.89 ERA in his first two seasons.

    Darvish stands tall in his delivery and possesses good athleticism that allows him to consistently repeat his delivery and command his pitches.

    "I'm a big guy, right?” he said, extending his arms. “But I began to realize that by actually using my body like a big guy, I couldn’t control my pitches the way I wanted to. I could throw the ball hard, but at this level if you’re not accurate, it’s easy for batters to light you up with home runs. That’s when I started concentrating on making my movements more compact. It just seemed to me that smaller movements would produce the kind of pitching I desired.” (Brad Lefton-NY Times-2/19/09)

  • Darvish has pitches that change every season. He has the ability to grasp how his body's movements affect his pitching performance. He can tweak his mechanics during a game without even watching video.
  • Some people think Darvish could actually end up being one of the best pitchers in the history of the game of baseball.
  • "He's got so many pitches that you can pick any one you want to throw at any time," A.J.Pierzynski said early in 2013 season. "It's not like he has two pitches, this one or that one. I mean, you might want a 94-mile-an-hour split-finger instead of a 97-mile-an-hour fastball or a 60-mile-an-hour curveball. That's when it's difficult to get on the same page because he's got so many weapons."
  • April 3, 2013: Darvish retired the first 26 batters he faced before coming up one out short of a perfect game.
  • July 30, 2013: For the fourth time in 2013, Darvish had a 14-strikeout game, passing Nolan Ryan for the most times accomplishing the feat in a season in Texas Rangers history. Darvish recorded double-digit punchouts for the 16th time in his career, and fell two short of tying the franchise record for most strikeouts in a game, twice done by Ryan. Darvish is the first pitcher with four 14-K games in a season since Randy Johnson in 2004.

  • In 2013, Yu finished second in the AL Cy Young voting to Max Scherzer of the Tigers.

  • In 2013, Darvish lead the Major Leagues in strikeouts, with 277. That was he most since Randy Johnson in 2004 (290).

  • April 6, 2014: Darvish set a Major League record by striking out the first two batters he faced. The two strikeouts gave Darvish 500 for his career in 401 2/3 innings. He became the fastest pitcher as a starter to ever reach 500 strikeouts as far as number of innings it took to get there. Kerry Wood held the old record by doing it in 404 2/3 innings. Mark Prior did it in 421 2/3 innings. And Stephen Strasburg did so in 426 1/3 innings.

  • June 11, 2014: Yu pitched the first shutout by a Texas righty since Alexi Ogando blanked the Chicago White Sox in May 2011, and with his 24th career game with at least 10 strikeouts, Darvish is tied for the second most in club history behind Nolan Ryan, who has 34.

  • Yu has said that he can hit 82 mph on the radar gun … with his left hand.

  • As of the start of the 2017 season, Darvish had a 46-30 career record, a 3.29 ERA having allowed 65 home runs and 515 hits and 812 strike outs in 645 innings.

Career Injury Report
  • 2006: Darvish was sidelined with some shoulder problems.
  • August 2009: Yu was on the shelf with shoulder fatigue.
  • July 7-22, 2013: The Rangers put Darvish on the D.L. with a mild strain in his right upper back. Texas assistant general manager Thad Levine said putting Darvish on the D.L. during the All-Star break will allow Darvish to sit for two weeks and skip just one start while resting the bothersome trapezius muscle.

  • October 7, 2013: Rangers G.M. Jon Daniels admitted Darvish was dealing with nerve irritation in his lower back over the final month of the season, which affected his strength and endurance. Darvish had an injection to alleviate the problem, but did not want one in September, because it would have forced him to miss a start.

  • February 16, 2014: Davish told an assembled group of Japanese media that he felt some hip discomfort earlier this offseason, but after altering his weight-lifting program he arrived in Arizona for spring training feeling healthy.

    Darvish told the Japanese reporters that his trainer recommended he quit lifting heavy weights and that the hip felt better starting in January.

    In March 2014, back specialist Drew Dossett cleared Yu to pitch, noting he had no structural damage in his neck. And Darvish was activated from the D.L. on April 6, 2014.

  • August 10, 2014: Yu was on the D.L. with inflammation in his right elbow. So the Rangers shut him down for the year, not willing to take chances.

  • March 17, 2015: Darvish underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery, missing the entire season. Dr. James Andrews performed the Tommy John procedure.

  • April 3,2015-May 28, 2016: Yu began the season on the D.L. while still rehabbing from the T.J. surgery.

  • June 13-July 16, 2016: Yu was on the DL with right shoulder discomfort.

  • August 17, 2017: Darvish was o the DL with lower back tightness. He exited the game early that day. The plan: just have Yu miss one start, then when his spot in the rotation comes up again, he can make that start.

    "My initial reaction after the last outing was that I felt like I could make the next start," Darvish said. "However, after talking to the team and consulting with the doctor, I understand their concern and I respect that opinion. I will make sure to get treatment and rest to get ready for [my] next start."