The first game of the spring in Surprise, Arizona started beautifully. Yu Darvish struck out 4 batters in 2 innings and Prince Fielder crushed one that left the field quickly. Of Darvish’s 29 total pitches, 23 were for strikes. He also threw first pitch strikes to all 8 hitters faced. I know it’s only the first game of spring training but after leading the majors in strikeouts last season it’s good to see him pick up where he left off. A lot will be and is asked of Darvish, can this be his first 20 win season?
Prince Fielder crushed a fastball over the right field fence, showing Rangers fans what’s to come this season. When he had his introductory press conference with the Rangers he told fans in right field, to get ready. Thursday could have been a precursor of things to come. When asked about the home run Fielder replied “I got lucky”. Rangers’ fans just hope that luck can continue for years!
Adrian Beltre, who has done nothing but produce since signing with Texas, also had a solid start. He went 1-1 with a double and 2 runs scored. One of those runs he scored was off a J.P. Arencibia double. With Geovany Soto out a few weeks after foot surgery, Arencibia has a chance to prove he can be solid contributor both behind the plate and with the bat. He has shown in the past he can hit for power but can he put it all together and have a good batting average and on-base-percentage?
Friday’s game will start at 3:05 CT with Alexi Ogando getting the start against the Royals.
Note: Matt Harrison was able to throw for first time in 11 days. After his throw Harrison said “he felt great”. Even though he is still not expected to be ready by the start of the season, it’s good to see him throwing without discomfort.