When Yu Darvish was placed on the Disabled List on Monday, May 7, the move was retroactive to May 4, meaning that he’d be eligible to return to the starting rotation as soon as Monday, May 14th (10 days).
And given that he was dealing with an illness, not an injury, there wasn’t much reason to believe that wasn’t going to be the case.
But it turns out that Darvish will actually return on Tuesday, against the Braves on the road, instead of Monday against the Braves at Wrigley Field (early-season makeup):
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) May 11, 2018
How does that affect the rotation before then? Well, to figure it out, let’s look back to Tuesday and see how things could play out, given how they have played out so far:
Yu Darvish Jen-Ho Tseng
Wednesday: Jose Quintana
Friday: Tyler Chatwood
Saturday: Jon Lester
Sunday: Kyle Hendricks:
Tuesday: Yu Darvish
Typically, without an off-day, the Cubs would have needed a fill-in starter for Monday, but with the extra day off, Jose Quintana can still operate on normal rest, taking the ball at home in the makeup game against the Braves.
That leaves Yu Darvish to start on Tuesday, and then Tyler Chatwood/Jon Lester/Kyle Hendricks to follow, also on normal rest. With this in mind, it actually makes perfect sense to start Darvish Tuesday instead of Monday, because the rotation works out and he gets an extra day of rest (even if he’s feeling better, it takes time to get your strength back after the flu).