Padres: Yu Darvish makes his debut and absolutely shoves
By Jake Misener
Yeah, Yu Darvish is ready to go.
The new San Diego Padres right-hander made his Cactus League debut on Sunday and didn’t disappoint, casually striking out four over two scoreless frames against the Royals. I know the guy is coming off a second-place finish in NL Cy Young voting, but still. That was fun.
Darvish anchored the Cubs’ rotation during last year’s pandemic-shortened season, while displaying an otherworldly arsenal on a nightly basis. There were times he took the ball and looked like a legitimate threat to strike out 20 batters in a single game.
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San Diego has no intention of putting any limits on the big right-hander in his first year in a Padres uniform. Instead, they’ll let him attack hitters with his entire 11-pitch arsenal as he sees fit. If his first in-game action was any indication, the club could end up getting quite the payoff for their faith in Darvish.
Padres: Yu Darvish is ready for a ring
And let’s not forget. That trade that netted Darvish also brought his personal catcher, Victor Caratini, along for the ride. There’s a long-standing familiarity between the two which should lessen, if not completely eliminate a ‘getting settled’ period for the four-time All-Star.
I’m biased. I know I am. Blake Snell is probably the sexier of the Padres’ three rotation additions from this offseason. Joe Musgrove has all the makings of a quiet All-Star candidate and he’s a big-time feel good story playing for his hometown team. But I don’t think anyone on this staff has the ability to dominate a game in the way Darvish can.
Having someone with the skills of Darvish in the clubhouse is huge given San Diego’s crop of young arms. There are few pitchers in all of baseball who are as crafty as him – and hopefully the young bucks like Dinelson Lamet or Chris Paddack can pick up a thing or two along the way.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, guys. You put your faith in Darvish and have his back when he takes the ball at Petco Park this season and you’re going to be rewarded in a big way. This was just a sneak peak of what’s to come.