Updated Apr 9, 2012 - 5:30 pm
Darvish debut plus news and notes...
By Shannon Drayer
5:25 update...Wow and never mind. Didn't see that coming!
Earlier this spring I had the opportunity to watch Paxton/Hultzen/Walker not only in a Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks but also in a B game against the Reds. Both games were a treat to watch and both had the potential to be games that I can look back on years from now and say I was there then. Tonight is not quite that big in my mind but it is a treat and certainly different from most of the 140ish games or so I will see this year. This is one of the things that makes this job fun.
I have followed Yu Darvish for years and am very interested to see if he can be the sensation over here that he was in Japan. Will his stuff translate, can he make the transition to the mlb pitching schedule? Is his stuff that good?
In talking with a few of the Mariners hitters they understandably are downplaying the hype. Today is just another day for them, facing just another pitcher they have never seen before. There is some video on him from spring training and that was on in the clubhouse when we were let in earlier. Kawasaki has faced him, without much success and Ichiro has had some input as well. What was interesting to hear is Michael Saunders at least was not making much of the difference of styles between pitchers here and in Japan. For years the Japanese pitchers have been known for their breaking stuff. Saunders says regardless of where the pitcher is from, he doesn't see much straight stuff anyway.
"Over here you rarely see fastballs that are straight unless a guy is throwing 95 or up. That won't be anything new," he said. "If anything it will help us out comparatively to what we saw in Japan because there was a lot of off speed over there. If he is throwing 93, 94 like they say chances are he will be throwing some fastballs but we are going to just take it like any other pitcher. Everyone in the big leagues is good. He is no different."
News and notes. Jesus Montero was a scratch from the lineup with an upset stomach, not the first one he has had this spring. "He needs to stay away from the seafood as far as I am concerned," said Eric Wedge. "It seems like every time his stomach goes under he has had sushi or some kind of fish so hopefully he can figure that out now."...Brendan Ryan is recovered enough to be in the lineup tonight...Carp and Gutierrez continue to recover in Arizona and Wedge said that the progress is good and either or both could be sent out on a rehab assignment this week...Felix Hernandez is now officially listed as the starter for the home opener Friday, the King's Court will be in session...
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