Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish will not be
helping Japan defend its title in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, the
All-Star hurler announced on Tuesday.
Darvish, who earned the victory in the championship game over South Korea in
the 2009 WBC, cited a need for rest after recently completing his debut major
The right-hander threw 191 innings over 29 regular-season starts during the
2012 campaign, his first in the majors after signing a six-year deal with the
Rangers to leave Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League. Darvish also
started Texas' loss to Baltimore in the American League Wild Card Game.
"This was a very difficult decision for me as it is always a tremendous honor
to represent my native country of Japan," said Darvish in a statement. "I
greatly enjoyed being a part of the 2009 championship ballclub and I will be
supporting this year's team as they look to defend their title. There are many
very talented players in Japan and I am confident this team will uphold
Japan's great tradition in this event."
Darvish compiled a 16-9 record and a 3.90 earned run average while finishing
fifth in the AL in strikeouts this past season, and is considered one of the
top contenders for the league's Rookie of the Year award.
The 26-year-old went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA over two starts and three relief
appearances during the most recent edition of the WBC. In addition to beating
South Korea in the title match, he closed out Japan's victory over the United
States in the semifinal round.
Japan has won each of the two prior installments of the WBC, topping Cuba in
the championship game in the inaugural 2006 tournament.
The Sports Network