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Yu Darvish thinks Cubs fans hate him


Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times spoke to Cubs catcher Chris Gimenez, and Gimenez tells him that Yu Darvish thinks Cubs fans hate him:

“I think he thinks that Chicago hates him for going on the DL a couple of times . . . He reads Twitter. He reads all that stuff. We all do. Honestly, I know it upsets him — and rightfully so.”

Gimenez tells Darvish, though, that it’ll all be good if and when the Cubs are in the playoffs and he’s playing well, correctly noting that this dynamic is very much an of-the-moment thing. Especially when it involves a high-priced free agent for whom there are high expectations.

For now, though, yeah: Darvish is not making Cubs fans happy. He has only made eight starts on the season and in those eight starts he’s given up 22 earned runs in 40 innings and is walking guys at a higher rate than at any time in his career. At the moment he’s back on the 10-day DL with inflammation in his right triceps and is expected to miss a couple more starts.

All of which makes it hard to get back into Cubs fans’ good graces. But, as is the case with most guys catching hell from a fan base, it’ll all go away if the team does well and he’s a part of that success.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.