So, ARod Went Off on Yu Darvish Last Night During the Broadcast - Which ... What?

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So, ARod Went Off on Yu Darvish Last Night During the Broadcast – Which … What?

Chicago Cubs

Late in last night’s game, as Yu Darvish patrolled the Cubs’ dugout, with his teammates, as he has during his rehab processes, ESPN broadcaster Alex Rodriguez decided to go in on the Cubs righty. Hard:

That’s some over-the-top stuff to drop casually in the 8th inning of a national broadcast.

Strangely, it doesn’t sound like ARod entirely talking off the cuff right there. Instead, it *sounds* like he was relaying, through his filter, things he’s actually heard. There were specifics in there. It’s very jarring to hear, and very dissonant with what we believe to be true about Darvish’s place with the Cubs and his rehab process.

I suppose it is possible that ARod is entirely making up a perspective and attributing it, generally, to Cubs players and the clubhouse. But I tend to think it’s more likely he’s heard views expressed – maybe not as strongly as he just shared, and maybe not very many people (could be just one person) – and he turned it into a talking point. I have a very hard time believing things are actually as bad as ARod’s comments made them sound, though.

Also, this part is just silly:

The Cubs have built world class training and rehab facilities at Wrigley Field for the specific purpose that they can keep guys there with the team while they rehab (hello, Kyle Schwarber’s entire rehab with the Cubs!). Darvish is not “in the way.” He’s getting the best treatment available and he’s with his teammates. Those are good things.

To be sure, Darvish’s injury and recovery process have been unique. You had an original examination by the Cubs’ doctors and training staff that didn’t really reveal anything (inflammation), but then Darvish went off separately to see his old doctor with the Rangers, who diagnosed him with an impingement. That’s not typical. The difficulty in figuring out just how much “pain” he’s in versus what is normal discomfort, etc. Again, that stuff is admittedly not typical. And I will say that, several weeks ago, there was a story relayed by Darvish about Anthony Rizzo asking him when he was going to get back in a game. It stuck out to me, because you don’t typically hear about guys talking to injured players quite like that.

But none of that means there’s some serious behind-the-scenes problem here, or that Darvish’s recovery is sewing discord in the clubhouse. At worst, it means only what we’ve said: the Cubs want Darvish back as soon as possible (I reckon he does, too), and he may have to figure out how to pitch through discomfort knowing and accepting that he’s not going to “hurt” himself in doing so. Even in his most recent bullpen session, he said he felt pain (“severe” pain) for ten pitches, made an adjustment, and then he was able to keep pitching. That’s a good step when there isn’t a structural issue. Maybe he just hasn’t really had to pitch through discomfort before (or perhaps the only time he did was when he shredded his elbow with the Rangers – being a little gun-shy would be understandable).

To that end, Joe Maddon quickly defended his player and his clubhouse after the game:

In the end, I don’t know what’s here, or whether this “angle” continues. I think everyone involved – again, including Darvish – just wants to see him back on the mound with the Cubs at 100%. He was throwing on the side (not bullpen) again yesterday, and the hope is that he could do one more bullpen session soon, and then a simulated game.

From there, it’d be another rehab start or two, and then – assuming there is no “pain,” or at least it’s the kind that is “normal” and can be managed – he could rejoin the rotation, probably no earlier than September.



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.