In the Yankees first game against Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, he showed off everything that made him a great success in Japan. He worked ahead of the count, had strong command, changed locations, used six different pitches, and varied his pattern throughout. He was dominant.
“We had a game plan to make him throw strikes. He definitely did that. If you tried to be patient, you’re down 0-1, 0-2. If you tried to be aggressive, every pitch seemed like it started around the zone and moved out of the zone. He pitched great tonight.”
It is way too early to judge if Darvish can continue his success at the major league level, but based on last night’s start he shouldn’t have much problem. The question now will be who is better at adapting once hitters get a little more used to him – Darvish or the hitters.
It is a reminder though of the risks Brian Cashman took this offseason. Rather than target somebody like Darvish or C.J. Wilson to improve the rotation, a move that would have eaten up precious salary space, Cashman instead traded his top prospect Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda. It’s a move that is going to be second guessed, particularly in Darvish’s case as his posting fee doesn’t count toward the $189 million luxury tax threshold the Yankees are trying to get under.