Yu Darvish Left His Start Early with the Trainer (UPDATE: Right Finger Blister)

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Yu Darvish Left His Start Early with the Trainer (UPDATE: Right Finger Blister)

Chicago Cubs

When I went to see Yu Darvish in South Bend for his second attempt at a comeback last season, he tossed one beautiful inning of relief, went back out to the mound before the top of the second inning looking just fine … and then walked off the mound with the trainer.

I’ve thought about that sequence a lot this Spring – the false sense of security has left me jaded – as Darvish has returned to the Cubs rotation with eyes on a big year. And although things had been going well before today (7.1 clean, happy innings with great velocity), Darvish just left his last start with the trainer after just 4.2 IP (Bastian’s Tweet is in error):

Right now, you’re dream scenario is that this was nothing more than an on-coming (or existing) blister which Darvish and the Cubs decided to nip in the bud before it got any worse. Indeed, given the lack of innings Darvish has had over the past year, a blister wouldn’t be all that surprising – perhaps his old callouses just haven’t reformed yet. But we’ve all also been burned by over-optimism before, so you’ll forgive my guarded heart.

With that said, there is more, good news: multiple accounts of Darvish’s body language from very smart people I trust (Sahadev Sharma and Jordan Bastian) indicated an overall positive attitude as Darvish left, which is not inconsequential. I can tell you from experience, Darvish was decidedly NOT positive when he left the mound with a trainer last summer.

Bastian said his “body language was good coming off the mound. Fist bumps all around. Hugged Contreras before walking off. Doesn’t seem serious.” And Sharma echoed a very similar sentiment. I don’t need to tell you how important Yu Darvish is to the Cubs chances in an already competitive NL Central this season, but yeah. You’re STRONGLY hoping this is nothing (especially as his primary replacement, Mike Montgomery, was slowed a bit this Spring, as well).

We’ll monitor this situation closely and update you as soon as we know more. Fingers crossed everyone.

UPDATE: You can take a breath, as it appears to be a blister for Darvish:

Blisters *can* linger and affect a player’s season by sapping the effectiveness of certain pitches, but they’re also not entirely uncommon early in Spring Training and are far preferable to a repeated elbow/shoulder issue. Unclench for now, but let’s still hope this heals quickly. Any setback would be far from ideal.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami