Entering key season, Darvish feeling healthy

Rangers right-hander threw three-plus innings on Tuesday against Rockies

March 7th, 2017

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are monitoring 's health carefully this spring. Besides his value to the Rangers in 2017, Darvish is currently set to become a free agent after the season, and his health will help determine how interested the club will be in keeping him.

So far, so good. The results on the mound have been mixed, but Darvish continues to feel strong physically as Spring Training progresses. That trend continued during Tuesday afternoon's 3-2 loss to the Rockies.

Darvish threw 59 pitches over three-plus innings against Colorado. He allowed a two-run home run in the first inning to Rockies shortstop before tossing two scoreless frames. He left the game after walking the leadoff batter in the fourth.

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This was Darvish's third outing of the spring. He had one appearance in a Cactus League game entering Tuesday and threw in a simulated game on Thursday.

"Overall, it was a pretty good outing," Darvish said. "I had no pain whatsoever, and when I got behind in the count, I was still able to get my outs."

The Rangers got 17 starts out of Darvish last season after his 14-month recovery from Tommy John surgery, and he was 7-5 with a 3.41 ERA. With a full Spring Training under his belt, the Rangers, and Darvish, are optimistic for the upcoming regular season.

"I think I am progressing very well this spring physically," Darvish said. "I have been able to build up to this point. In between innings in the games last year, I had some strange feelings in my arm when I started throwing on the mound again. This year, I don't have that kind of feeling. That's another positive."

Darvish allowed four hits and two walks while striking out three against the Rockies.

"I thought Darvish threw the ball extremely well," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He got his first pitch in the strike zone, had an explosive fastball. … He came out throwing the ball well."

Rangers beat

• The Rangers have a B-game scheduled on Thursday against the White Sox at 10 a.m. MT on the Nolan Ryan Field. Rotation candidates and and relievers Tony Barnette and Matt Bush are scheduled to pitch.

is close to a full recovery from offseason surgery for a sports hernia, and he could play in a Cactus League game later this week. Banister said he doesn't expect Andrus to play Thursday against Team Venezuela, but he could appear on Friday against the Dodgers or in one of two split-squad games on Saturday.

• Right-hander , recovering from offseason thoracic outlet syndrome, threw a bullpen session on Monday without issue and has another one scheduled for Thursday.