This is certainly eye-opening, and hopefully very instructive for anyone who was questioning whether Yu Darvish was dealing with a real injury or just a mental issue during his long, uneven rehab process.
Everyone was wondering how it could be that this particular rehab – from triceps inflammation, initially – could be going so sideways, and why we couldn’t understand what he was actually feeling. And why we only just now found out he had a stress reaction in his elbow that was ending his season.
Well, let Darvish tell you in his own words.
Here’s the entry Darvish just released on his personal blog, and here is a human-created translation, which appears to be faithful:
Yu Darvish’s blog entry from 8/22/18.
Translated to English by @mikaotx
— mikaotx (@mikaotx) August 23, 2018
Wow. That’s a lot to take in, and a lot to realize Darvish was dealing with – physically – during this rehab process. It was never quite clear just how much pain he was in while trying to pitch in his first minor league rehab outing. No wonder his velocity was down, no wonder he mentioned severe pain around that time (even though he kept pitching), and no wonder the Cubs shut things back down soon thereafter.
It really sucks that the stress reaction was not caught in the initial or even second testing process (it may or may not have made a difference on whether he pitched again this season, but at least he wouldn’t have gone through the unnecessary drama and the pain). It seems like it takes a special kind of MRI to catch, and, for whatever reason, that’s not a route the parties went down until this latest round of testing.
In the end, it won’t make the season any better for Darvish and the Cubs, but I really hope it provides crystal clear perspective for Cubs fans: the guy was working his butt off to come back, and was fighting through strange, undiagnosed, and impacting-his-daily-life pain. You can’t pitch like that. Thankfully, they finally figured out what was causing Darvish so much pain, and it can be treated, specifically.
As a Cubs fan, I hope he comes back and dominates in 2019, because obviously. But as a guy who now really, really, really wants to see Yu Darvish succeed? I couldn’t want it any more.