After successfully playing catch multiple times over the past week, Chicago Cubs starter Yu Darvish is finally set to pitch in a real bullpen session.
Joe Maddon says the big righty will throw in the bullpen today in Milwaukee, and then the Cubs will start to have a better sense of his possible timeline for return (Sun-Times). That will depend, of course, on how he feels tomorrow after throwing today.
Mathematically, given that he’d throw a time or two more in the bullpen before heading out on a rehab assignment, and then would likely make at least two rehab appearances before the Cubs would consider bringing him back, it’s unlikely he’ll return before the All-Star break. But we’ll see.
Meanwhile, Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr., who has been resting up some shoulder inflammation, will play catch today (Cubs.com). Until now, Edwards has just been working on rest and strength exercises.
The Cubs can’t exactly project a timeline for him until they know how he feels after throwing the ball around for the first time since he went on the DL back on May 30. If all goes well, you can guess that he’ll throw a few more times over the course of the next week before throwing in the bullpen. From there, it’s likely that he, too, will go on a rehab assignment before returning to the Cubs, maybe also not until after the All-Star break. Relievers tend to be able to return more quickly than starters, though, so we’ll see.
In the meantime, the Cubs will continue to rely on their high-quality fill-in relievers, as well as relying on a resurgent Justin Wilson for late-inning coverage.