When Yu Darvish first hit the disabled list and was scheduled for an MRI, there was plenty of cause for concern (and a whole lot of nail biting as we awaited the results), but the MRI did not reveal any structural damage (just triceps inflammation), which was about as good of news as we could’ve hoped. And then, after some more unnerving radio silence thereafter, we learned that Darvish would be throwing his first bullpen session yesterday and soon after that the reports trickled out that it went as well as it could’ve.
But although it was inarguably good to hear that Darvish felt strong immediately after his session (that certainly would be the first sign of trouble), the real news we were waiting for was how he felt today, given that Darvish himself has said he didn’t feel the current issue until the day after he last pitched. The day after that first session back is ultimately the more important one and …
#Cubs Maddon says both Darvish and Edwards came out of their throwing sessions on Tue good. Joe: "The next step is to map out the next moment."
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) June 13, 2018
Darvish came out of his bullpen in good shape, per Maddon. He’s giving Bryant the proverbial breather. Like a mini all star break Joe called it as he won’t start again until Fri night in St. Louis.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) June 13, 2018
Huzzah. Another checkpoint passed without issue. We may soon find out about the next step plan, though I’ll still caution you that, while Darvish is hoping to come back before the All-Star break, that probably shouldn’t be your default presumption.
You can see more from Darvish from immediately after his session here:
For what it’s worth, Theo Epstein seems to have been pleasantly surprised by the the way the session went yesterday, telling the Sun-Times: “It went really well. Based on some of the reports when he was playing catch and stuff, I wasn’t expecting quite the quality of bullpen that we saw. It was crisp. He seemed to be letting it go without hesitation. He threw all his pitches. He commanded really well. It was free and easy. I think everybody was pleased, including Yu.”
Still, given the proximity of the issue to where he was feeling discomfort before his Tommy John surgery, you can understand why everyone is going to take it very slow and steady in his return.
Taking things slowly works for us, and, as I said yesterday, there’s almost nothing to gain by forcing him back too quickly to get one or two more starts before the break. If it’s going to be that close, I’d rather he stay on the shelf until he’s 100%. Or more. Math!
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.