ANAHEIM -- Yu Darvish abruptly ended his routine between-starts session with the media before Tuesday night's game against the Angels when the right-hander was asked about a brace on his right knee as he leaned against a wall outside the visitors' clubhouse at Angel Stadium."I wouldn't have thrown a bullpen [session] if anything was wrong," Darvish said through an interpreter, making a quick left turn into the clubhouse. Darvish, who is scheduled to face Zack Greinke in Thursday night's series finale against the Angels, is 15-9 with a 4.02 ERA in 27 starts. He has 205 strikeouts while issuing 87 walks in 176 2/3 innings, holding opponents to a .218 batting average. Darvish has not cut down on his wide variety of pitches in recent starts, he said, in response to a question. "I don't think I've decreased or limited any of my pitches," Darvish said. "To people watching, it might look like I'm changing, but I haven't changed my repertoire." His remaining assignments will be against American League West opponents with whom he has become familiar. He seems to think that can work to his advantage. "I'm going out and pitching the way I can, as always," Darvish said. "Personally, facing teams and getting to know their hitters makes me feel very good." He was noncommittal about how the Rangers -- in first place for all but two days this season -- measure up to his expectations before making the move from Japan. "It comes down to the end of the year," Darvish said."If we win the World Series, then you can say [how good the team is]. We're striving for that. I won't have much to say about it until the end of the season."
Young nominated for Clemente Award
ANAHEIM -- Michael Young is the Rangers' 2012 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. The prestigious honor goes to the Major League player who best represents the sport through contributions on and off the field, highlighting community involvement and sportsmanship.This is the fourth consecutive time Young has been nominated for the award bearing the name of the legendary Pirates Hall of Famer. Clemente, a 15-time All-Star and native of Puerto Rico, perished on New Year's Eve 1972 in a plane crash while attempting to fly relief goods into Nicaragua in the wake of a devastating earthquake. "I think that we owe it to the community to give back," said Young, who was born and raised in Southern California and has been a Rangers mainstay since 2001. "I am honored to be recognized as the Texas Rangers Roberto Clemente nominee and equally honored to be named as a finalist for the league-wide honor. "We hope to make our involvement in the community grow even more in the future through the work of various community organizations we support and the Michael Young Family Foundation." Young's charitable giving includes a longtime partnership dating back to 2002 with Wipe Out Kids' Cancer (WOKC), a non-profit organization dedicating to eliminating children's cancer through innovative research, education and treatment. He has hosted a group of "WOKC Ambassadors" each year at a Rangers home game. In 2005, Young helped furnish the outpatient physical therapy room at Children's Medical Center, providing equipment for patient rehabilitation. A year later, he began the Young Heroes Scholarship Program, providing scholarships to young adults across the country who have battled cancer and are pursuing academic dreams. Ninety-five college scholarships have been awarded, each student receiving a laptop computer and printer. The Michael Young Family Hispanic Scholarship Program was established in 2010. Actively involved in numerous organizations, including the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, Young and his wife, Cristina, launched in July 2011 the Michael Young Family Foundation. Its focus is on children's health in physical, social, mental and educational areas. Fans can vote for the Clemente Award on MLB.com, automatically registering for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series. Young will be honored as the Rangers' Clemente Award nominee during a pregame ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 29, when the team plays the Angels. "It's important for the Texas Rangers to have players who consider their off- field accomplishments as important as their on-field accomplishments," said Rangers CEO and president Nolan Ryan. "Michael Young epitomizes that philosophy and leads by example for his teammates and others in the community." Fans can vote for their favorite at MLB.com/ClementeAward and register for chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series. Voting ends at 10:59 p.m. CT on Oct. 14.
Washington lobbies for Beltre, Hamilton
ANAHEIM -- Alighting on Tuesday evening in Angel Stadium, a ballpark rookie center fielder Mike Trout has illuminated all season with his brilliant play for the Angels, Rangers manager Ron Washington acknowledged Trout as an American League Most Valuable Player candidate -- along with two of his own athletes."Three guys, man," Washington said after a long pause when asked what he'd do with an MVP vote. "One is the kid you have over here, Trout. And [Josh] Hamilton and [Adrian] Beltre. I don't see Trout every day, but I see Hamilton and Beltre every day. I see they're very valuable to us." When someone mentioned Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera, Washington grinned. "There's four," he said, quickly adding another candidate to the list. "The good thing," Washington said, "is you [media members] have to make the decision. If it was me, there might be four MVPs. I'm biased, but you can't take anything away from Trout. He's the reason the Angels are hanging around. He's been so consistent in every part of the game." Trout comes into the three-game series with a .392 average and four homers and 15 RBIs in 13 games against Texas. He leads the AL in runs scored (116) and steals (45) and was passed by Cabrera on Sunday in the batting race after leading the league most every day since he became eligible. "Rookies like him come along every now and then," Washington said. "I don't think you'll see one like him come along in a long time. He can do everything." If there are slight flaws in his throwing and bunting abilities, Washington added, they're minor. "He's a complete player -- and he has fun. You can see the enthusiasm. He makes everyone better."
Roy Oswalt threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday and plans to throw another on Thursday, resting on Wednesday. Washington said he plans to have Mike Napoli catch the first two games of the series, with Geovany Soto handling Darvish in Thursday's series finale. Napoli has made two starts since coming off the disabled list on Saturday, missing 33 games with a left quad strain. Washington referred to Napoli's success at Angel Stadium -- he's hitting .411 there with eight homers in 15 games with the Rangers. The Rangers have had the best record in the AL for 27 straight days, and their 87-59 record matches the best in club history through 146 games.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.