Darvish loses weight, builds muscle

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish's offseason goal was to build strength and at the same time reduce his body fat. He believes he's succeeded.

Darvish said he lost four pounds and is around 220 pounds this camp as opposed to 224 last year. But he said he's lost some of his body fat, too.

"I wanted more muscle up here," Darvish said, pointing to his upper body.

The 26-year-old looked fit and ready and in a bullpen on Sunday, throwing a handful of different pitches. Catcher Geovany Sotosaid Darvish threw his splitter and slider, along with his fastball, curve and cutter.

"He looked good," Soto said. "It's still early, but he's getting a feel for his pitches."

Darvish threw 29 pitches to live hitters after throwing 27 warmup pitches. His next outing comes Tuesday as he starts the club's first intrasquad game of the spring. Alexi Ogando will start for the opposing team.

Other notes:

  • Catcher A.J. Pierzynski has now caught all four members of the club's current rotation and added fifth-starter candidate Robbie Ross to the list on Sunday. He's impressed by what he sees as he attempts to learn the pitching staff and get to know his new teammates.

  • Lance Berkman took some swings and got his work in on Sunday. While he's "going at his own pace" in the words of manager Ron Washington, Berkman said that means he'll make sure he's healthy and building up systematically toward Opening Day. "We're not trying to win the Cactus League," Berkman said. "We're trying to win the American League West."

  • Intrasquad games are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Darvish and Ogando start Tuesday with one inning each. Matt Harrison will get his shot on Wednesday with Nick Tepesch starting for the other side.