Earlier this morning, Joe Maddon jumped on 670 The Score and teased Cubs fans with the revelation that Yu Darvish has felt “really good” after throwing for the past few days.
So perhaps it was not much of a surprise, then, to see tweets that Darvish was in the outfield at Wrigley playing a little light catch a while ago. However, when reports also revealed that Darvish was actually heading into the bullpen beneath the bleachers in right to throw off the mound for Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and the training staff, the intrigue level changed:
Yu Darvish headed to the bullpen, meaning he'll throw off the mound. Training staff plus Theo/Jed headed there as well.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) July 24, 2018
Theo and Jed watched #Cubs Darvish throw in bullpen. Hope to get update on next step
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 24, 2018
First thing’s first: this is good news. We don’t know the outcome of this session yet, and that could derail all of our positive vibes, but, at a minimum, Darvish felt strong enough and the training staff confident enough to let him out on a mound.
When he was rehabbing the first time around, Darvish’s last rehab start came 13 days after his first bullpen. So with a little extrapolation (and a ton of luck), his first rehab start could come around August 6th and his second around August 11th. If he needs a little more time before those outings, of course, then you can push each back, say, another three to five days. From there, a big league start is *conceivable* within five days, but we’re starting to project pretty far out into the future.
For now, let’s just enjoy that Darvish was able to throw off of the mound, and lets await word on how it went. The last time Darvish threw off of the mound came after his first rehab start, it didn’t go well, and he was shut down again before being diagnosed with an impingement in his elbow, and getting a cortisone shot.
UPDATE: According to multiple reports on Twitter, Darvish’s bullpen session went well, as the righty threw 16 pitches and (presumably) felt fine. However, Joe Maddon and the Cubs will, apparently, not let us know about the next steps until tomorrow.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.