Darling had five pitches in his repertoire: the slider, a curveball, a circle changeup, a splitter and a four seam fastball. In the beginning of his career, Darling's weak point was control, as he finished seasons in the top four in base on balls three times; as his career progressed his control improved considerably. He was considered one of the better fielding pitchers of the time, and won a Gold Glove Award in 1989. Darling had one of the best pickoff moves among right-handers. An above-average athlete, he was sometimes used as a pinch runner. In 1989, he hit home runs in two consecutive starts.