Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/30/13
Just as some baseball people don’t believe that a player can be clutch or that certain hitters possess a special talent for driving in runs Yu 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 Wednesday. “I don’t know what the definition of ace is. I think all the starting pitchers have to support each other.” That’s nice and all. It also serves absolutely no use in the fresh debate of whether Darvish is truly an ace a topic that has pitted the stats crowd against some longtime observers of Texas Rangers baseball who point to game events to underscore his shortcomings. The final verdict: Darvish’s numbers this season leave him in the top tier of pitchers in the game but most agree including the man himself that while he is an exceptional pitcher there is room for him to improve in upcoming seasons. “This guy comes with a lot of hype but he’s only in his second year at the major league level” manager Ron Washington said. “Baseball here in the United States is totally different than baseball in Japan. He was a dominant guy in Japan. “At times he’s been dominant. It’s the consistency that he’s trying to find here. It might take another year. It might take another couple years. He’s still learning.” Expectations based on seven dominant seasons in Japan are behind the debate but they aren’t as high as the expectations Darvish has for himself. The right-hander will enter his 26th start of the season Friday night against Minnesota with a 12-5 record a 2.68 ERA that rates second in the American League and a baseball-leading 225 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .191 against him also second in the league.
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