Injured Cubs starter Yu Darvish suffered a setback during a rehab outing on Sunday. Darvish was hopeful he could return to help the Cubs before the end of the season, but that won’t be the case. ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports that Darvish has a stress reaction in his right elbow and will be shut down for the remainder of the season. Darvish’s elbow ligament is fine, but the stress reaction is a precursor to a fracture.
The Cubs and Darvish agreed on a six-year, $126 million contract in February. The first year didn’t go as expected. In eight starts, Darvish posted a 4.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks across 40 innings. He landed on the disabled list after his May 20 start against the Reds and hasn’t pitched since.
President of baseball operations Theo Epstein bolstered the roster earlier today, acquiring second baseman Daniel Murphy from the Nationals. The club will likely be on the lookout for starting rotation between now and the end of the month. Mike Montgomery went on the disabled list, which meant Tyler Chatwood and his 5.22 ERA with an 85/93 K/BB ratio returned to the rotation. The Cubs almost certainly want to find a reason to take Chatwood out again.
Per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have been discussing the idea of playing the 2020 season entirely in Arizona. The state has 10 spring training parks as well as Chase Field, home to the Diamondbacks. MLB suspended the 2020 season last month as the U.S. began to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This certainly comes as no surprise as commissioner Rob Manfred has suggested the need to potentially get “creative” if MLB is to have a season. Other ideas have included running the season deep into the fall, hosting games in mostly warm-weather states, and making use of frequent doubleheaders.
For many reasons, the U.S. has not done well to date dealing with the pandemic, so it is quite optimistic to expect sports to return at any point in the near future. That being said, agent Scott Boras, who spoke to Blum, suggested baseball’s return could provide “a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment.” He added that that product would be “inspirational to our country.”
MLB and all of its associated interests stand to lose significant amounts of money the longer the season is delayed, which is why many are champing at the bit for the schedule to resume. Presumably, any resumption of the schedule would require that games not be played in front of fans.