Yu Darvish’s Improvement
In the wake of Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s failing foray into Major League Baseball, many were skeptical of Darvish’s prospects with the Rangers (despite their very different pitching styles). After year one, I feel very much at ease. Darvish was durable, tossing 191.1 innings last year over 29 starts, a rate that would have put him at 217.2 innings for a full 33-start season. His strikeout rate was among the league’s best, and what gives me confidence is how he kept that high K rate through the end of the season when teams were seeing him for the second, third, or fourth time. Best of all, his K:BB ratio improved rather noticeably as the season wore on. It was below 2.00 for the first two months, crept into the mid-2.00s for the next three months and then ballooned to over 5.00 in September when Darvish’s BB/9 fell to 1.72. I’d expect improvement in 2013.
Ryan Vogelsong Repeats
I didn’t like Vogelsong’s chances at a repeat. I even wrote as much last year: