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Darvish nearing date to throw off mound

Righty, who underwent Tommy John surgery last March, has been working on half-mound
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish is getting ready to throw off a full mound, his next step after throwing 25 pitches off the half-mound on Friday.

It marked Darvish's third session off a half-mound, and pitching coach Doug Brocail said Darvish appears primed for the next step.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish is getting ready to throw off a full mound, his next step after throwing 25 pitches off the half-mound on Friday.

It marked Darvish's third session off a half-mound, and pitching coach Doug Brocail said Darvish appears primed for the next step.

Spring Training: Schedule | Tickets | Complete info

"We'll see how he recovers from today," Brocail said. "He looked very good today. The one thing is we want to make sure it's all about getting stronger and not getting the ball to a location. You don't want to push to get the ball down in the zone, you want to let the ball go freely.

"It was another good day. I feel good about Darvish and where he is at."

Lefty Cole Hamels threw 55 pitches in the bullpen on Friday and is on schedule to pitch in the intra-squad game on Monday. Southpaw Martin Perez will be the other starter. Hamels said he likes to throw a lot of pitches early in camp.

Video: Hamels, Fielder share experiences at Spring Training

"I've always done it that way my whole career," Hamels said. "You want to be precise with your pitches and to do that, you have to have a lot of [repetitions] that are successful. I want to be able to hit the zone repeatedly, and the only way to do that is muscle memory. And to do that, you need to throw more pitches."

Worth noting:  

Keone Kela was not at Friday's workouts because of the flu.

Luke Jackson remains sidelined with stiffness in his lower back.

• Brocail has been impressed with Tom Wilhelmsen, saying, "His stuff is a lot better than I thought it was."

• The section of Greenway Road that forms the southern border of the Rangers' complex will be closed on Saturday and Sunday for construction. Fans attending the workouts those days will have to approach from Bell Road to the north.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels