Yu Darvish is 3-0, with 24 strikeouts and a 2.42 ERA. These stats aren't Cy Young numbers, but they are impressive for his first season in America.
Yu Darvish's professional career began in 2005 in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan, where he quickly dominated, winning two MVPs. He stayed there for six years before this year, when he announced his interest in the MLB. The Texas Rangers snapped him up for $60 million over six years.
In four career MLB starts, he has had two dominating performance against two good lineups in the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees. In those two starts, he struck out a combined 15 batters and only allowed one run total.
Those two starts showed how quickly Yu is getting comfortable in the MLB and how easily he seems to be getting accustomed. Can Yu actually be a Cy Young candidate by the end of the season?
While he did dominate the Yankees, who have the third-best batting average in the league, he did stumble into his first victory in which he allowed five runs, but thanks to the Rangers' hitting he got the victory, 11-5.
The biggest worry Rangers fans should have is that Yu becomes another Daisuke Matsuzaka. Similar to Yu, he was a big-name Japanese pitcher who many thought would easily make the transition from a dominant pitcher in Japan to a dominant pitcher in America.
Daisuke had one good season in 2008, in which he went 18-3 and finished fourth in the Cy Young voting, but since then has yet to match the same level of success. In 2011, it was announced he was out for the year to get Tommy John surgery, and he is currently with the Red Sox' Single-A farm team, where he gave up three runs in four innings in his first start back.
Coincidentally in Japan, Yu was compared to Daisuke his whole career, with many people calling him the better player. Will Yu become the star player Texas is expecting? We don't know yet. He has shown flashes of brilliance here and there but has yet to build consistency in his young career.
All Rangers fans can do is sit back and hope that he wasn't a waste of $111.7 million.
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