Your periodic check-in on the Cubs’ big offseason signing, Yu Darvish, who’s been on the shelf for a couple weeks with triceps inflammation, and who will be out a while longer yet.
The good news is that he was able to play catch again yesterday, which makes two sets of back-to-back days in the last five days. The less encouraging news is the way Joe Maddon described it to Cubs.com: “The pain is subsiding and it’s becoming more of a soreness, so that’s a good thing. He’s still not ready to get to the mound yet. He’s still in a ‘play catch’ mode. Everything’s advancing – not quickly, but it’s advancing.”
No one is going to be eager to have Darvish go full out until the soreness is all gone, and the rub there is that you can’t really make the body heal any faster. It’s just kinda gonna do what it’s gonna do.
The hope is that the Cubs will have a better idea of where things stand – in terms of throwing plans and a rehab assignment – by the end of this week (ESPN).
Let’s get real optimistic for a moment (not for the purposes of making you optimistic, but instead for the purposes of helping you see the timeline) and say that, come Friday, the Cubs are ready to have Darvish start throwing off the mound. He’d probably need at least two bullpen sessions before he could go out on his first rehab start, so you wouldn’t be looking at that start until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week (June 19/20). He’d almost certainly have to have at least two of those starts, so you’d be looking at the second one around the 24th/25th of June.
So, then, in a perfect-world scenario from here, Darvish could be back to the Cubs in the first week of July, having missed just a bit over a month.
That said, the All-Star break creeps up just a couple weeks into July, and it wouldn’t be outrageous for the Cubs to hold him to a slower return timeline with an eye toward lining up the end of his rehab assignment with the start of the second half.
We will continue to wait and see, and Mike Montgomery and Tyler Chatwood will continue to remain in the rotation. Thankfully, so far, Montgomery has pitched excellently.