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If you are a fan of Major League Baseball and especially of standout pitchers, you have probably heard of current San Diego Padres starting pitcher Yu Darvish. You may know that Darvish was born in Japan and that he was pitched in the Major Leagues since 2012. With Darvish being from Japan you may have wondered, “Does he speak English?
Yes, Yu Darvish does indeed speak English. In fact, while with the Chicago Cubs in 2019 Darvish started doing full interviews in English without his interpreter. Many folks on the Cubs team said that Darvish started speaking English more regularly so that he could better connect with his teammates, coaches, and fans.
Keep reading to learn more about Yu Darvish, his career, and his English-speaking ability.
How long has Yu Darvish been speaking English?
Though it is unclear as to when Darvish began speaking English, this short video shows him speaking English in 2017.
Like most Major League players that come from other countries like Japan, Venezuela, or Mexico, Darvish probably started out speaking English in small amounts to his coaches and teammates. Playing baseball in the Major Leagues is intimidating. Playing in the Majors and not speaking the same language as your teammates is probably even more intimidating.
One can easily see why it has taken a few years for Darvish to feel comfortable speaking English while in public. English is possibly the most difficult language for anyone to learn.
How well does Yu Darvish speak English?
If we go by the videos that are on the internet, Darvish has come a long way in his English-speaking skills. Sure, Darvish may use some English words in the wrong context. However, English is an overly complex language and even people who have spoken it for their entire lives have trouble with certain words.
The fact that Darvish has worked so diligently on his English-speaking skills is nothing short of impressive. This hard work shows that Darvish is serious about making all of his teammates and coaches feel comfortable. Speaking English probably helps Darvish fit in around the baseball clubhouse as well. Darvish seems at ease and noticeably confident while speaking English to reporters and this is also good to see.
A Closer Look at Yu Darvish’s Baseball Career
- Yu Darvish’s real name is Farid Yu Darvishsefat
- Darvish comes from good athletic blood lines as his father played collegiate soccer at Florida State University
- Major League Baseball scouts started noticing Darvish while he was only a kid in junior high school. Could you imagine the pressure on Darvish when he had to pitch in front of pro scouts at such a young age?
- Though the Mets and Dodgers wanted to sign Darvish to a big league contract, he decided to start off his professional career in Japan.
- Darvish was one of the best players in Japan’s pro baseball league for seven years from 2005 to 2011.
- The Texas Rangers signed Darvish to a lucrative 6-year contract worth 60 million dollars in 2012. Darvish had a fabulous rookie season by posting an impressive 16-9 record and a 3.90 earned run average.
- 2013 was another banner season for Darvish as he led the American League in strikeouts with 277
- Unfortunately, Darvish suffered a horrific arm injury in 2015 during Spring Training. Darvish seemed to think it was only a sore arm, but medical professionals found out that he had torn his UCL. This devastating injury required an intensive procedure called Tommy John surgery. Darvish could not pitch at all during the 2015 season due to rehabbing from the surgery.
- After a full year of hard rehab on his surgically repaired pitching arm, Darvish bounced back with a decent season in 2016. Darvish posted a 7-5 record with a 3.41 earned run average for the season.
- Overall, Darvish spent 5 years with the Texas Rangers and compiled a record of 52-39 and struck out 960 batters during that timeframe. Darvish also was selected as an American League All Star four times during his stint with the Texas Rangers.
- In 2017 just before the trading deadline, the Rangers sent Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers for three prospects. Darvish had two rough outings in the 2017 World Series when the Houston Astros scored nine runs against him.
- The Chicago Cubs made Darvish an even wealthier man in 2018 when they signed him to a 6-year deal worth a whopping 126 million dollars. Darvish spent 3 seasons with the Cubs but only enjoyed a moderate level of success by posting a record of 15-14 over that span.
- However, Darvish was dominant during the pandemic shortened 2020 MLB season as he led the National League with 8 wins during the 60-game regular season. His 2.01 earned run average was the lowest of his career.
How will Yu Darvish do with his new team?
It is hard to predict how well Darvish will do with his new team. The San Diego Padres traded for Darvish in December of 2020. Darvish is 34 years old and has played 15 total seasons of professional baseball when you include his 8 MLB seasons and 7 Japanese seasons. Though 34 is not exactly ancient, Darvish has had his share of injury problems so staying off the disabled list will be a big key to his success in 2021. The fact that Darvish had a fantastic 2020 season shows that there are probably still a few more good seasons left in his throwing arm.
One thing is for certain. The San Diego Padres will be an exciting team to watch in 2021 with Darvish pitching and Fernando Tatis Jr. hitting lots of home runs! Darvish’s Spring Training is off to a good start as he has pitched in two games and has not given up a run so far.