The rehabilitation of star right-hander Yu Darvish has hit an obstacle.
Pitching in a minor league rehab start for Class-A South Bend on Sunday, Darvish experienced a setback when he removed himself from the game after pitching just one inning, per multiple reports.
Darvish had planned to throw three innings on Sunday, but reportedly after throwing his sixth warmup pitch — a curveball — before he began the second inning, the right-hander signaled to his dugout that something was wrong.
Per MLB.com, the right-hander needed 19 pitches to finish the first inning and appeared to shake his arm slightly after his final pitch, a 94.7-mph fastball. He told MLB.com that he felt similar discomfort in his previous rehab start in late June, though this time he chose not to pitch through it and he also requested to undergo an MRI.
Darvish threw a simulated game at Wrigley Field earlier in the week, tossing roughly 50 pitches over his three simulated innings. He has been on the disabled list since May 23 with right triceps tendinitis.
“It was good,” team president Theo Epstein said after Darvish’s simulated game. “He was competing out there and spinning the ball really well. Maybe his best spin of the year. Seems like he’s about ready for the next step, which would be rehab games.”
Darvish experienced a setback during a throwing session in June that has further delayed his return. He also threw a two-inning simulated game last week without experiencing any pain.
“It’s been a long road back,” Epstein said. “There is no point in rushing it. We probably have one chance, given where we are in the calendar, to get this right. That’s the priority.”
Darvish, who turned 32 on Thursday, is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in eight starts this season, his first with the Cubs. He is 57-45 with a 3.49 ERA during his six-year MLB career, pitching for the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cubs.
Darvish is in the first season of a six-year, $126 million contract with Chicago.
–Field Level Media