Happy Darvish Day!


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.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.