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April 10, 2012

What You Need to Know

Tuesday, April 10

by Daniel Rathman

The Monday Takeaway
When Yu Darvish walked back to the Rangers’ dugout after the top of the first inning of his major-league debut, things were looking bleak for both the pitcher and his team. Darvish had allowed seven Mariners to reach base and four of them to cross the plate while throwing 42 pitches and putting Texas in an early hole.

The righty settled down after that, coughing up just one more run in the second inning, and needing only 68 pitches to complete the final 4 2/3 innings of his 5 2/3-inning debut. The four walks, hit batter, and wild pitch on Darvish’s line are a bit worrisome, but some of his early wildness can be chalked up to rookie jitters. And once the Rangers’ offense kicked into gear against Mariners starter Hector Noesi, Darvish grew more comfortable, riding 11 runs of support to his first stateside victory.

Darvish’s next start is scheduled for Saturday afternoon against the Twins at Target Field.

What to Watch for on Tuesday

  • The Marlins are off today, but manager Ozzie Guillen will take center stage at a 10:30 a.m. ET press conference to address his comments about former Cuban President Fidel Castro. Guillen told reporters on Monday that he felt “guilty” and “embarrassed” about expressing respect for Castro—a sentiment that most certainly did not go over well with the Cuban community in Miami. He’ll need to be equally remorseful this morning to allay the concerns of the Marlins’ fan base and avoid more serious consequences, such as a suspension.
  • While his top off-season acquisition was busy dealing with the Mariners, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was preparing for news of an extension with second baseman Ian Kinsler to spread. The new contract will pay Kinsler $70 million over the next five years, and it includes a $10 million option for the 2018 season with a $5 million buyout.  When healthy, the 29-year-old Kinsler is arguably the best keystoner in the league, and he should have no trouble producing an average of $15 million in value over the course of the deal.
  • Matt Moore made just one regular-season start last season, but he made an immediate splash by recording 11 strikeouts in five innings of work against the Yankees. He’ll face a similarly stiff test in his 2012 debut, a date with the Tigers at Comerica Park (1:05 p.m. ET). The 22-year-old southpaw had a rocky spring, serving up three gopher balls and walking five batters in 10 innings of work, but his raw stuff is unparalleled. Following Darvish’s erratic opener, Moore has a chance to take the early lead in the AL Rookie of the Year race. 

Daniel Rathman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Daniel's other articles. You can contact Daniel by clicking here

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