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Thursday Morning Links

Geovany Soto decides that now he is no longer the starting catcher it is safe to stop sucking

Norm Hall

Yu Darvish threw a bullpen session Wednesday, and faced minor leaguers Chris Grayson, Zach Cone, and Royce Bollinger. Anthony Andro says the media circus was not near what it was in 2012, and has quotes from Darvish about the lessened media scrutiny and from Pierzynski about catching him. I would have been interested to hear what Grayson, Cone and Bollinger thought, but instead the most substantive quote is Pierzynski wondering what the big deal is.

Andro also tells us that pitchers' fielding practice has had an impact, with the pitchers' error totals dropping from 16 in 2011 to 7 in 2012.

Nate Robertson, as co-owner of the independent league Wichita Wingnuts, signed himself to a contract last year in an effort to build up his arm strength. That totally seems like something Jerry Jones would do and paid off about as well, with Robertson putting up a sparkling 8.00 ERA.

The FWST has some videos, including Ron Washington talking Yu Darvish, Darvish throwing a bullpen session, and Ogando and Darvish throwing live batting practice. There's also some photos, one of which appears to be of Yu Darvish shortly before he released a Haduken.

Drew Davison looks at Ryan Theriot as a possible utility infielder, but points out that as National League bench player who played over 200 games the past two seasons he might not be excited about a role in Texas. If we can go by recent history, our utility guy needs to be someone with a time-consuming non-baseball hobby, like needlepoint.

T.R. Sullivan has a notes column that discusses Joe Nathan declining to pitch in the WBC and the focus on pitchers' defensive responsibilities, which, at least as it pertains to opposing runners stealing bases, was a glaring weakness last year. One can only hope that in the spirit of addressing glaring weaknesses, Wash is also planning to send Kinsler to take batting practice in various non-BPIA American League ballparks and to find Nelson Cruz a better drug dealer.

Yu Darvish was planning to take A.J. Pierzynski out to dinner at McDonald's Wednesday night, and I'm eagerly waiting the blow-by-blow post-mortem of that tete-a-tete. I've always felt that what's wrong with news reporting is that we get 750 words of content-free relay of Crash Davis cliches instead of a lengthy description of Yu Darvish and A.J. Pierzysnki's date at McDonald's. One of the most fascinating entertainment news pieces I ever read was this description of Joel Stein and Leonardo Dicaprio shopping for groceries.

Or course I say I want more color, but the DMN has this video of the Rangers workout that includes "The Cookie Lady," and it irritated the hell out of me, so maybe I don't know what I want.

Evan Grant has some spring training notes and says that Julio Borbon's time in the Ranger organization is likely coming to a close, but focuses on reasons like Leonys Martin being paid more money and not on anything that would be really interesting, like, for instance, Julio Borbon and Charles Haley having similar views about what constitutes "clubhouse intimacy."

Derek Holland is on an accelerated conditioning program because of the World Baseball Classic.

The DMN also has an omnibus post that has links to all of the coverage from Wednesday.

Colby Lewis hopes to be throwing off a mound in early March.

Geovany Soto is motivated to improve this season, though I thought that went without saying because he was essentially replacement level last year. It would have been news if he'd said that he wanted to continue to strive for mediocrity.

Durrett also has some more Yu Darvish talk, speculating on whether he will develop into a true ace in 2013.