— Richard Durrett (@espn_durrett) January 25, 2014
The reason for the #NotaShock hashtag is because Darvish has proven himself over the past two years to be the ace of the Rangers pitching rotation. In his second year in American Major League Baseball, Darvish led the American League in strikeouts with 277 over 209.2IP, compiling a 13-9 record with only a 2.83 ERA. It can be speculated that his record may have been better, but Darvish also led the Majors in 1-0 losses with 4, indicating that he suffered from poor run support. The righty from Osaka, Japan, signed through 2016 with an option for 2017, finished second behind Max Scherzer in the Cy Young voting for 2013, the highest a Ranger pitcher has finished since Aaron Sele in 1999. The player option for 2017 may be voided by Darvish if he either wins the award in the next three seasons or finishes second thru fourth place in the voting in two of the next three years.
The Texas Rangers will open the regular season at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in interleague play against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, March 31st.