Yu Darvish: Making The Transition

Over at ESPN, Keith Law offered a scouting report on Yu Darvish, noting that among his offerings are ...

a shuuto that looks like a two-seamer in the low 90s or upper 80s, a hard slider/cutter, a softer slider, a splitter, a straight changeup and a slow curveball

Which of course makes me think about the Great Gyroball Mania of '07, which makes me think of gyros, which makes me hungry. Also, why aren't there breakfast gyros, with eggs, lamb, yogurt, et cetera? Someone's missing out on a gold mine.

Law's scouting report has a lot to say about the transition Darvish is going to have to make, both with his repertoire and his workload. It isn't unusual for a Japanese pitcher to have a half-dozen pitches in his arsenal, whereas most MLB pitchers focus on three or four, at most, and Law thinks Darvish will have to adapt.

Another person who notes that Darvish's transition isn't going to be seamless: his dad. From ESPN:

"You are talking about [a] different culture. It would be nice to give it a little time and don't judge things so fast. I know Yu will find his way.

The cultural transition is usually overlooked when Japanese players come over -- it's definitely overlooked when it comes to teenagers from Venezuela or the Dominican Republic playing their first season in the New York-Penn League, for sure -- and it's probably just as important as deciding what pitches to keep in a repertoire.

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