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Tom Verducci On The Rangers And Yu Darvish's Transition

Tom Verducci has an interesting Three Strikes post today, led by his thoughts on what the Rangers will try to do to ease Yu Darvish's transition to MLB. He says they've started by sending him some MLB balls (which are slightly larger and with smoother seams than Japanese balls) and will begin addressing the workload issue in spring training.

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The trick is to get Darvish conditioned to throw more often (mostly every fifth day) over a longer season against deeper lineups while avoiding the huge pitch counts he often ran up in Japan. Said Daniels, "It will be a little different, both in terms of between starts and the importance of getting quicker outs."

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Verducci says that Texas is likely to hide Darvish from their division rivals in spring training games so that their adjustment to his stuff takes longer. He also says that a six-man rotation - at times - is a reality, and considering Texas' youth and depth, as well as the summer heat, that really isn't all that radical of an idea.

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And they will consider adding a sixth starter to the rotation at times during the regular season to allow Darvish extra rest. Remember, in their rotation the Rangers also have Neftali Feliz, whose innings will be monitored as he moves from closing to the rotation, and Derek Holland, who bears watching because of a giant workload increase of more than 70 innings last year. And the Rangers do have Alexi Ogando and Scott Feldman in the bullpen as legitimate spot starter options. The Rangers could skip a start or two for Feliz or Darvish or briefly go to a straight six-man rotation.

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"Last year we did it a little in the second half of the season where we found extra rest," Daniels said. "I can see us doing that a little earlier in the season."

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Verducci also addresses Roy Oswalt's waiting game and the Mariners' struggling offense. Check out the entire article on SI.com here.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.