5) What's a best case/worst case for Yu Darvish?
Brad: I think the best case scenario for Yu Darvish is a top of the rotation pitcher and work horse that gives you 220+ innings at an elite level... something akin to Felix Hernandez level quality. I think the worst case scenario (assuming health) is a pitcher that struggles with pitch counts and walks giving you 180 innings with 4+ walks per nine innings. In the Rangers ballpark, that's probably a 4.50-5.00 ERA guy unless he's particularly lucky. I think strikeouts will be there even in the worst case scenario because the movement of his pitches and sheer quality of his stuff. Worst case is probably a step below Gio Gonzalez but without the benefit of the Athletics park.
Fittz: The very best case would be an international phenomenon in the mold of Fernando Valenzuela-mania where Darvish pitches like the ace the Rangers haven't had for a full season since Nolan Ryan in 1989. The more realistic best case would be 200 innings of top-of-the-rotation production where Darvish shows no ill signs from transitioning to America and the Major Leagues. The very worst case scenario would obviously be an injury. But, we'll ignore that and go with: 150 middling innings where Darvish has difficultly pitching in Arlington and spends the entire season explaining that the transition has been more difficult than he imagined.
Griffin: Worst case is an injury, because he is a pitcher. After that, worst case is probably something in the realm of mediocre. That would still not be horrible from a rookie just entering his prime. The best case is nothing short of being the best pitcher in baseball. He has the stuff and the command to do it.
Morris: Best case is that he's the best pitcher in the A.L. Worst case is that he gets hurt and misses the season.
Moyal: Best case: A poor man's Randy Johnson. I'm serious. The stuff is unbelievable. He's going to get strikeouts in bulk, and elicit enough ground balls to keep Beltre, Andrus and Kinsler on constant alert. I think command will be something of an issue, but his combination of power and breaking stuff is straight-up unbelievable. A more reasonable comp looks like Tim Lince$#@!... and while their physical similarities are nonexistent, I think the results could be pretty similar. Worst case? #3 starter. In this scenario, he'd have trouble figuring out the tendencies of stateside hitters, start nibbling everywhere and put up a lot of disappointing 5-inning, 100-pitch outings. The stuff will tide him over well enough; I can't see him being any worse than Jonathan Sanchez, for instance. But I think there's a strong possibility Darvish's results won't match his stuff for the first year or so, as he adjusts to the MLB game. Eventually, though, I think he's an ace. You can't scout spring training results, but you can scout what you see. And it only takes one outing to see the stuff is BEYOND legit.
Starkey: Best case? Honestly, I believe he can be one of the best pitchers in baseball. It's just the spring, but his stuff was incredibly nasty. I'd put Darvish's stuff up against any pitchers in baseball. If he keeps his fastball command, I think he'll be in the Cy Young discussion. Worst case? He doesn't command his fastball, struggles with the Texas heat, and ends up having a really inconsistent year. He's too good to have a total failure of a season, but if he struggles with his command throughout the year, he's going to probably disappoint a lot of fans. Still, even at his absolute worst, I'd still see him having a WHIP around 1.30-1.35, and an ERA near 4.30-4.50. I really think his stuff is too good to completely fall flat on his face.