If Chad Billingsley is coming back this year, it’s likely as a reliever

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Chad Billingsley is on the DL. Some think he may not come back at all. If he responds well to the platelet-rich plasma injection he had last week, however, he could come back as a reliever. Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times spoke to Don Mattingly about that:

As the comeback of Chad Billingsley drags on, any possible return this season trends toward him becoming a reliever …

… “It kind of moves in that direction,” said Manager Don Mattingly. “There is instructional league going on and things like that. You can try and build up that way. At the end of the season you would think a guy would be fairly built up.”

But not built enough for starting, Mattingly thinks, because the minor league seasons are basically over.

Yu Darvish lands on 10-day disabled list again with triceps tendinitis

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Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.

Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.

The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.