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Yu Darvish is coming to the United States . . . in 2012

Nov 4, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

Yu Darvish pitch

People have been getting rather excited over the possibility of Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish coming to America for some time.  Recently we learned that, nope, it won’t be in 2011.  David Lennon of Newsday reports however that it will happen in 2012.

Interesting, I suppose, but one of the biggest knocks on Darvish is that he’s had a pretty heavy workload in Japan. This season alone he had multiple 150+ pitch outings and at least a half dozen of 135 or more (note: I got that from an NPB tracker post from June; he most likely had more such outings since then).  He’s less valuable to Major League teams now than he would have been a couple of years ago because of that, and if he’s similarly abused in 2011 — and if he’s all but gone after the season, why wouldn’t his Japanese manager abuse him all the more? — he might be a shell of his former self by the time he’s posted for the U.S.

Consider me bearish in the extreme on this guy. His ERA has been sparkling, but he’s got more miles on that odometer than U.S. pitchers several years his senior.  Buyer beware.

  1. madaozeki - Nov 4, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    On the other hand, he’s only making 25 starts a season, pitching once a week, for around 180-200 innings. So “mileage” may have different definitions since the pitch count research correlating with injury is anything but conclusive. He may in fact have far LESS mileage than if he had come up through the minors and MLB at this age.

  2. mcsnide - Nov 4, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    he’s got more miles on that odometer than U.S. pitchers several years his senior. Buyer beware.

    All Japanese pitchers should have this attached to their unis as a warning label.

  3. BC - Nov 4, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Dice-K redux. I wouldn’t touch him.

    • mcsnide - Nov 4, 2010 at 1:53 PM

      Exactly. Thing is, even a guy like Dice-K has value. He’s a solid middle of the rotation guy, and his actual salary tracks his value quite well. But that ignores the $50 mil or so you have to pay the Japanese team. If you’re gonna drop $100 mil or so on a guy, he has to be better than middle of the rotation.

  4. Walk - Nov 5, 2010 at 4:41 AM

    I learned my lesson watching kenshin kawakami pitch. On 5 days rest he seemed ok, 6-7 days the guy was an ace. Less than 5 days rest he was a mop up pitcher. Listening to the commentary this year the issue seemed that Kenshin was used to pitching in a rotation that featured six starters on a regular basis. He did ok the first season but fell off sharply at the end of the year and carried that fatigue into the next season. Buyer beware indeed.

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