Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, who appeared on Fitzsimmons & Durrett on Tuesday morning on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM, seems to think that Yu Darvish could contend for the AL Cy Young Award this season just by doing what he does best.
On the big expectations for Darvish this season:
"I expect him to be a very good pitcher in the American League. He's got a very good team behind him. And if he does what we know what he's capable of doing -- and that's keep us in ballgames -- there's no reason why he can't win enough ballgames to be considered (for the Cy Young Award). There's no reason why he can't pitch well enough to be considered.
"He's a quality pitcher. He's one of the best in the American League, if not in all of baseball. And I know he's going into his second year, but Yu Darvish was a quality pitcher before he arrived here in the United States. And now that he's here, he proved in the second half of last year that he's capable of winning ballgames. ... He's got a great idea of what he's doing and what he has to do."
On the pending long-term contract extension for Elvis Andrus:
"Everybody knows what Elvis means to the club. ... He's a guy that believes in being challenged. You can see the growth in him. He's turned into a leader. He's certainly one of the better shortstops in the game, especially the American League. And more than that, he's a winning player. And we knew that he had those traits when we brought him up the very first time. He's proven that. He's only doing what a good ballpayer does -- and that's get better as each year comes and goes, understand what the league is doing to him, understand his weaknesses, understand his strengths. He plays to it. He's certainly a quality player. No doubt about it."