West Notes: Villalona, Darvish, Mariners

A few notes to pass along out of baseball's West divisions …

  • Former Giants top prospect Angel Villalona is expected to report to Spring Training after missing the entirety of the past two seasons while dealing with legal issues in his native Dominican Republic, writes Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. Villalona, a first baseman, has been on the Giants' 40-man roster since last fall. He's 21 now, so he's hardly beyond old, but he'll have plenty of catching up to do.
  • The Rangers have a plan in place to ease Yu Darvish's transition from NPB to MLB, writes Tom Verducci of SI.com. Essential to their strategy is to ween Darvish off the high-pitch-count outings he frequently posted in Japan in favor of more efficient pitch counts. As well, the Rangers will limit Darvish's exposure to AL West opponents during Spring Training, and they could skip a couple of his starts in the second half.
  • Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has a look at how the Rangers and Angels positioned themselves shrewdly for their recent TV contracts, and cautions that it won't necessarily play out the same way for the Mariners — or other teams, for that matter.

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