How Darvish Makes Me Think of Scherzer, Willson Gets Engaged, and Other Cubs Notes

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How Darvish Makes Me Think of Scherzer, Willson Gets Engaged, and Other Cubs Notes

Chicago Cubs

I have become far too good at compartmentalizing the horrors of something like what happened in Florida yesterday, and just moving along with my day. It’s not a skill I ever thought I’d develop, nor is it one I ever wanted.

But here we are. Again. It has nearly reached the point where you feel like all you can do is hope and pray that the next time this happens, it won’t be in your hometown. How far gone are we?


Now some other stuff, because it’s what we do …

  • I should start with something nice and happy, because that does still happen in this world:

  • Congrats to Willson Contreras and his now fiancée!
  • Obviously Chris Gimenez is a big Yu Darvish fan already, so I suppose you’ve gotta take his commentary with a grain of salt. But he’s also pretty clearly a thoughtful, intelligent dude who may have insight into Darvish that others do not. Which is to say, when he said this (NBC), I was pretty excited to hear it: “I think we really haven’t seen the best Yu Darvish yet. He’s still evolving as a pitcher, as well. [In his] second full season off Tommy John, physically he’s starting to really get in tune with his own body now and kind of knowing his limitations, what he can and can’t do. I think really, the sky is the limit for a guy like that. He’s still relatively young, and to have average velocity go up like it did last year, it just shows there’s more in the tank and he’s continuing to evolve as a pitcher and learning how to pitch, how to attack guys. I think he’s really evolving in the fact that he has so many weapons and he’s using them with so many guys now differently than he has in the past and there’s more room to grow with that, too.”
  • To be sure, it would be a very rare thing for a guy to become an even better pitcher at age 31 than he was in his 20s, but then, Darvish’s combination of velocity and extremely deep arsenal is a very rare thing. The guy it makes me think of – in terms of premium fastball velocity and 5+ usable pitches – is Max Scherzer. I’m not comparing the two as pitchers for now, but that rare combination, I’m just saying that Scherzer is a guy who comes to mind. Scherzer, for what it’s worth, turned 31 in the year he signed with the Nationals, and he’s seen his strikeout rate increase every year since 2014. Last season, when he turned 33, may have been the best season of his career. And it’s hard not to see that he’s gotten better and better as the way he’s used his repertoire has become more and more diversified. Is it really that inconceivable that a guy could simply get better at commanding more of his pitches (if the talent was already there) and get better at using them in the right situations even well into his 30s?
  • The Cubs Productions crew put together their typically excellent kind of video on the Darvish arrival:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.