<
>

Padres anticipate first look at Yu Darvish

PEORIA, Ariz. – There’s a lot going on at Peoria Sports Complex on Wednesday.

MLB Network is on site shooting the San Diego Padres for its “30 Clubs in 30 Days” series. The Padres are preparing for their first set of split-squad games.

And some pitcher by the name of Yu Darvish happens to be on the mound for the Texas Rangers in one of those games.

“I know it’ll be a circus out there with all the media,” Padres outfielder Will Venable said.

Around 100 media members are expected to be at the complex in anticipation for Darvish’s first spring training start.

With all the hype surrounding Darvish, Venable called former Padre and Rangers pitcher Mike Adams about the 6-foot-5, 216-pound pitcher. Adams informed him Darvish is as good as advertised.

“[Adams said] his stuff is electric, hang with him if you’re in there,” Venable said. “It’ll be interesting to check him out.”

Darvish has seven pitches in his arsenal, but Venable won’t change his approach.

“For me, it all comes back to the fastball,” Venable said. “He’s going to throw a fastball and he’s going to throw a fastball for a strike. That’s the pitch you want to hit.”

Outfielder Cameron Maybin will lead off against Darvish and plans to play to his strengths. Maybin also said he’ll look for a fastball and work off that during his plate appearances against Darvish.

“I know it’s early in the spring so I hope he won’t be throwing all seven today,” Maybin said. “Hopefully he’ll narrow it down to a couple.”

All Maybin knows about Darvish is his great stuff on the mound. While he hasn’t closely followed the Japanese pitcher, Maybin thinks Darvish is good for baseball and looks forward to the challenge.

“The spotlight is on him,” Maybin said. “This is what we do every year, year in and year out. For me, it’s the same process. It’ll be exciting to see how he handles it.”