SURPRISE, Ariz. — Yu Darvish was free and easy when throwing off a full-sized mound for the first time since elbow surgery last spring.
The right-hander said what mattered most to the Rangers: He's pitching without pain.
"Good, very good," Darvish said through his interpreter after the scheduled 15-pitch session Monday. "No pain, no problem at all."
Darvish threw off a half-mound three times in five days last week, working up to 25 pitches. The next step will be throwing more pitches off the full mound.
The last time Darvish had thrown off a full mound was one inning in a Cactus League game last March 5, when he felt tightness in his right elbow. He had Tommy John surgery 12 days later and missed all of last season. He hasn't pitched in a major league game since Aug. 9, 2014.
BUCS ADMIT BOO-B0O: Pirates general manager Neal Huntington acknowledged the team erroneously computed right-hander Gerrit Cole's salary offer for 2016, which led to a public spat with their ace pitcher.
The Pirates initially offered Cole a $538,000 contract, which was a $7,000 increase over his base salary last year. According to Huntington, that was a franchise-record pay hike for a player with only two-plus years of big league service time.
However, Cole's total earnings last season were $541,000 because he got a $10,000 bonus for making the National League All-Star team.
BRAVES: Former 10-time Gold Glove centerfielder Andruw Jones was named special assistant to baseball operations.
CARDINALS: All-Star catcher Yadier Molina caught his first bullpen in camp, another step in his comeback from left thumb surgery.
GIANTS: Outfielder Hunter Pence had a precautionary MRI exam on his injured Achilles' tendon and is expected to be held out of games for at least a week.
METS: Rightfielder Curtis Granderson was sent to an eye doctor as a precaution after arriving with a redness in one of his eyes.
RED SOX: Manager John Farrell returned to the dugout for the first time since revealing his cancer diagnosis in mid August, and his team opened exhibition play with a 6-0 win over Boston College.