In his first in-game action since May 20, when he experienced triceps inflammation that led to an extremely cautious odyssey of rest and rehab, Yu Darvish will pitch tonight for the Cubs’ Low-A affiliate in South Bend.
Given that Darvish’s first full year back from Tommy John surgery was last year, and given that his UCL injury was preceded by discomfort in his triceps, you can understand why everyone involved wanted to take this nice and easy.
So, then, the next step will be something like 60 to 70 pitches in a competitive environment both to ramp back up his arm for a return to the big league team, and also to test how his arm reacts when he’s actually out there pitching to get outs. Which is not to say you should necessarily JUDGE the results of his performance tonight, because that’s not really the goal (for examples, I highly doubt he’s going to do a deep dive on the scouting reports and optimizing sequencing, and he also won’t have a big league defense behind him). But you do want to see him out there executing all of his pitches competitively, showing good velocity, and then feeling good tonight and tomorrow morning.
If that happens, there’s a chance he’ll return to the big league Cubs as soon as this weekend. I wouldn’t say that’s the expectation just yet, but if all goes well tonight, it very well could happen.
The game is at 6:05 pm CT, and will be broadcast on MiLB.tv. Good luck to Darvish.
— South Bend Cubs (@SBCubs) June 25, 2018