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Yu Darvish will put his new look to the playoff test with NLDS start against Diamondbacks

By in Press Enterprise on October 9, 2017

By Bill Plunkett

PHOENIX – When the Dodgers announced their acquisition of Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers at the July trade deadline, they expressed delight at being able to acquire an elite-level starting pitcher.

And then they went about trying to change him.

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Darvish spent the final two months of the regular season changing his arm slot, the timing of his delivery and even his pitch repertoire.

So what didn’t the Dodgers want him to change?

“Andrew Friedman and Farhan (Zaidi), they told me, like, ‘Hey, you should not change your good-looking face,’” Darvish said through his interpreter Sunday. “Just joking.”

No kidding, the Dodgers have treated Darvish the way a house-flipper would treat a distressed property. The changes in his mechanics were “big changes,” Darvish has admitted, aimed at returning him to his pre-Tommy John form. At the same time, the Dodgers have tried to sell Darvish on the benefits of streamlining his arsenal of pitches.

“I think on both ends (mentally and physically) he’s handled it really well,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think for him it was more of coming over here and trying to figure out why he can’t be consistent. He’s a guy that came off surgery a couple years ago, and so to get that consistency back and a lot of the data that we had that we kind of dug into made things pretty clear for us, and to present it to him was very clear.

“I think that buy-in was huge for him. … Yeah, it’s a lot to take in. But he’s just so athletic, he’s so intelligent, and he competes. So now you take the […]    

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