To accomplish a pitching Triple Crown a pitcher must lead the league in strikeouts, wins and earned run average. This has happened 38 times in MLB history and since 1997 has been accomlished by 8 pitchers. Since making his MLB debut in 2012, Yu Darvish has solidified himself as the Rangers ace and has shown that every time he takes the mound special things are possible.
Darvish’s best season was in 2013 when he struck out 277 batters(1st in MLB), had an earned run average of 2.83(9th in MLB), and won 13 games(T32 in MLB). He won 3 fewer games than his rookie season but improved on almost every other major pitching stat. It’s not far fetched to believe that 2015 can be Yu’s best season yet.
Darvish had to be licking his chops going into the 2014 season with the Rangers bolstering their lineup and looking to get back to their World Series form. However, 2014 was an injury plaqued season on both sides of the ball. Darvish started and ended the season on the DL and the lineup couldn’t find a groove until the last month of the season.
Now you are wondering after reading all that how i feel Darvish can accomplish the pitching Triple Crown? Obviously health is the biggest key for any athlete in any sport. Darvish has had an offseason to heal all the knicks and knacks that plaqued him the entire 2014 season. When fully healthy we have witnessed what Darvish can accomplish.
Entering his 4th MLB season Darvish is now a veteran pitcher who knows what he needs to do to win games and get batters out. Darvish has an arsenal that makes batters look foolish but seems to depend on that and has because of that dependency averaged over 16.3 pitches an inning in his career. That stat alone shows why Darvish hasn’t been able to throw as many complete games as other top-tier pitchers. Throwing 16 pitches an inning means it would take 144 pitches to throw a complete game and
With all this said a healthy Darvish taking the mound means the spectacular is possible. He has the talent and ability to be a top pitcher and has proven that by being in the top 3 in AL Cy Young voting in 2 of his first 3 seasons. If Darvish is able to lower his pitch count per game he can stay in games longer and not have to depend on the bullpen to help him get the win.
Darvish has lead the league in strikeouts once but has never been top 10 in wins and has cracked top 10 in earned run average once. I believe that with a healthy lineup Darvish can accumulate plenty of wins. He will get plenty of strikeouts so the biggest question is if he can keep his earned run average down. Look for Darvish to have his best season and possibly be in place to win the pitching Triple Crown.