Righty Rehab Notes: Multiple Sim Games for Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow Throwing at 90 Feet

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Righty Rehab Notes: Multiple Sim Games for Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow Throwing at 90 Feet

Chicago Cubs

More injury updates for you – that’s what happens when you have several important injured players, I guess. After learning that Ben Zobrist is likely OK and Kris Bryant is at least able to throw, we’ve got some more from Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey on Yu Darvish and Brandon Morrow.

Yu Darvish (elbow impingement, triceps inflammation, brief back issue) is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game today, his first since the original rehab process went awry earlier this year. But even after today, he’s not likely to go immediately to a rehab start:

This would be consistent with our suspicion that the Cubs will be taking things extra slow with Darvish’s return this time around, prioritizing the ability to make *SOME* September starts in advance of the playoffs, rather than prioritizing a quick return.

I’m not going to tell you that the rotation is better off without a healthy Darvish, but I will say that things are at least semi-stable right now, after the acquisition of Cole Hamels. Given Darvish’s upside when healthy, the Cubs can afford to be as patient and deliberate as possible. So far, Darvish has indicated that this rehab is going well. Let’s keep it that way.

Similarly, the Cubs have been taking a slow and steady approach with closer Brandon Morrow (biceps):

That’s a great sign, and could mean that some throws off the mound will be coming relatively soon. Morrow hasn’t pitched for the Cubs since all the way back on July 15, so he’ll have been out for more than a month by the time he returns.

Much like with Darvish (and Kris Bryant), the really critical thing for Morrow is to return fully healthy to be in a position to contribute in the latter half of September and on through the playoffs. If that means you slow play things in August, and he returns September 1 instead of August 25, then so be it.

With both Darvish and Morrow, there is also the roster-related considerations of their return. No, keeping lesser guys in the org wouldn’t be a driving motivation for holding each big-time arm out a little bit longer, but if they’re going to be out until right around September 1 anyway, why not just wait until then, when rosters expand to the full 40-man, and then the team is in the best possible position for success heading toward October?

That is to say, for every reason we can see in front of us right now, I would still not expect to see Darvish or Morrow throwing a pitch for the Cubs until September. That’s more than three weeks away, and, hey, if they return sooner, gravy. But that’s where I’d set your baseline expectation.

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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.