Happy Darvish Day!

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Yu Darvish makes his major league debut tonight. Not a bad opponent for it either: the Seattle Mariners. I have this feeling the first Darvish-Ichiro matchup is gonna get a little press in Japan. Just a hunch.

Darvish was 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 15 innings in spring training. He’s not unhittable, certainly, as his mistakes seemed to be in the zone on offspeed things — I saw Will Venable absolutely murder a Darvish pitch in Peoria that was still going up when it hit the tall batter’s eye in center field — but anyone with that kind of strikeout mojo is outrageously fun to watch.

Good luck, Mariners.

Melvin Upton released by the Giants

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Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have released outfielder Melvin Upton. He requested his release.

Upton, who turned 33 yesterday, signed with San Francisco in early April after the Blue Jays released him. It was a minor league deal. After recovering from a rash of minor injuries, Upton batted .244/.306/.333 in 12 games at Triple-A Sacramento. There was no indication that the Giants were going to call him up. I presume that, back when they signed him, they figured they’d be contending and could maybe use a veteran bat. That’s obviously not the case anymore.

I suppose it’s possible that someone gives Upton a look when rosters expand in eight days, but I figure it’s more likely that we’ll next see him as he fights to make a team on a minor league deal next spring.

Carlos Santana left last night’s game with back tightness

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Andrew Miller leaving last night’s Indians-Red Sox game got all the press, but the Indians lost another key player in the game as well: Carlos Santana. He was forced to leave after going 0-for-3. There was no followup announcement after the game, so he’s likely being reevaluated.

Santana is hitting .250/.355/.446 on the year, but he’s been pretty hot of late, hitting .375 with a couple of homers in the past week.