Darvish throws first BP session since surgery

Right-hander offered up $1,000 if anyone homered

Darvish throws first BP session since surgery

ARLINGTON -- Yu Darvish said Thursday that while he was pleased to take the next step in his return from Tommy John surgery, he's far from close to being Major League ready.

Darvish threw batting practice on Wednesday, the most significant step in his rehabilitation since surgery in March 2015, but he said his velocity wasn't where it needed to be. However, his stuff was good enough to no Minor Leaguer was able to hit a home run -- a feat Darvish would have paid them for.

"My body was not fully loose. … I can't say I'm 100 percent satisfied at this point," the Texas right-hander said through his interpreter. "I'm glad to finish a first BP … to get it over with."

Darvish said he wasn't sure how hard he was throwing because no radar guns were activated.

The 29-year-old is expected to throw two additional batting practice sessions, Sunday and April 21, before heading out for a rehabilitation assignment later this month. He could make as many as six rehab starts over the four-week period, though it could be fewer, making a timetable for a return to the Majors fuzzy.

A late May or early June return seems to be the most likely as of this date.

"I feel like I can increase my arm speed and refine offspeed pitches. Overall, I don't feel like I'm there yet," Darvish said.

Darvish recaptured his competitive edge almost immediately, not to mention his sense of humor.

Facing Minor League hitters on Wednesday, he said, "If you hit a home run, I'll give you a $1,000."

So what happened?

"I didn't give them anything to hit," said Darvish.

John Henry is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.