Yu Darvish just got signed by the Rangers for 60 million dollars. The Rangers paid 51.7 million just to talk to the guy. And I’m here to say, that was incredibly stupid.
Yu is 25 years old and has been pitching professionally for 5 years in Japan. He throws mid to high 90s and is very good.
First, the good. Yu has amazing hips and I’m not afraid to say that. They are incredibly explosive and he gets great torque.
Here’s the problem.
Notice how not only does his elbow rise above his shoulder, but its also the typical late rise of Prior/Strasburg where the elbow is also above the hand. Unlike Prior/Strasburg, Darvish does get his hand above the elbow by the time his footstrike, but it is very close and will most likely become a problem. With the elbow of the hand, the arm now has to change direction very quickly, drastically increasing the force it to move the ball (Like trying to win a drag race by starting in reverse first).
On to the next point.
After releasing the ball, his arm travels very straight (his pronation lasts for only the first quarter of deceleration), his body does not turn in attempt to slow down the arm, and he has a significant recoil. The lack of pronation or body turn means that the fragile ligaments, tendons, and labrum inside his shoulder are responsible for almost all of his deceleration. The recoil means his arm doesn’t only have to slow down but has to change direction, significantly increasing the force put on the shoulder (Like trying to stop a car by putting it in reverse).
Prognosis: He’s going to start to have shoulder issues just like Prior, Peavy, Chapman, Strasburg, and countless others. And then one day his elbow will pop, just like Strasburg, Wainwright, Zumaya, BJ Ryan, and countless others. Not a great way to spend 111 million dollars.