ARLINGTON, Texas - Yu Darvish will be the opening day starter for the Texas Rangers.
When asked by a fan Saturday at the team's Fan Fest who would start the March 31 opener against Philadelphia, manager Ron Washington said he thinks "it's obvious. It's Darvish."
Darvish was 13-9 with a 2.93 ERA in 32 starts last season. He led the majors with 277 strikeouts and was second in the AL Cy Young Award voting.
The right-hander dealt with nerve inflammation in his lower back the last six weeks of last season, but his off-season rehab has gone well. He is still home in Japan preparing for spring training and the season.
He started the second game last season, coming within one out of a perfect game against Houston.