This all got lost in the excitement of yesterday, and in the excitement of me being neck-deep in Advanced Accounting Topics 6215 last night ... in any event, here's the Klaw talking about how Darvish profiles as a major league starter, with some talk outside of this passage about how Darvish amplifies the Rangers' rotation flexibility and gives them a better chance of getting their key starters through the entire season in one piece:
Darvish generates good arm speed through hip rotation, and despite slightly late pronation, his arm works reasonably cleanly and he repeats the delivery well. Darvish will show the usual assortment of pitches, led by a 91-95 mph fastball that's been reported up to 97 this year, mixing it with a hard shuuto that looks like a two-seamer in the low 90s or upper 80s, a hard slider/cutter, a softer slider, a splitter, a straight changeup and a slow curveball.
That's far more pitches than a typical MLB starter would use and probably too many for Darvish once he's here. He could strip down to the fastball, shuuto, one slider and a changeup or splitter, and be more effective because he's junked his worst offerings. The one concern I'd have on Darvish is workload -- he's been worked hard in Japan, and very few NPB refugees have held their value for more than two seasons after crossing to MLB. But Darvish's ace potential makes him worth the risk, even at a cost of nearly $20 million per year when you factor in the posting fee. The Rangers came into this offseason with two obvious areas in which they could upgrade -- first base and the top of their rotation. They've now addressed the latter need.
He forgot center field as an area that could be upgraded, right guys? Guys? Anyone?