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Rangers won't let Angels see Yu Darvish ... yet

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
<player idref=The forthcoming Rangers-Angels duel for the AL West crown was already compelling stuff even before C.J. Wilson's Twitter brinkmanship. Now, things are getting even more interesting.

As T.R. Sullivan of reports, the Rangers, rather than allow Yu Darvish make his next scheduled spring start on Sunday against those Angels, will instead have their import ace face a minor-league lineup, safely away from the prying eyes and bats of Anaheim.

While this might seem like an unnecessary bit of espionage on the part of Texas -- after all, there's no doubt that each Darvish (9.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 10 K, 7 BB, 0 HR this spring) start to date has been heavily attended by Ranger advance scouts -- there's something to be said for not letting the likes of Albert Pujols and Torii Hunter get an early look at Darvish. If the received wisdom is to believed, then pitchers benefit from a lack of familiarity. Hitters, it follows, do not.

As well, there's the fact that limited exposure could be of extra benefit to a pitcher like Darvish, whose uncommonly deep repertoire and somewhat unorthodox delivery could befuddle stateside hitters in the early going (or even permanently). And, of course, such relative secrecy adds to the "aura" of Darvish.

Call it La Russa-style "psych ops" if you want, but in a division that could have a hair-thin margin, every edge helps.
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