The Cubs and Yu Darvish didn’t get off on the right foot after agreeing on a six-year, $126 million contract in February last year. Darvish made eight ineffective starts and otherwise was absent due to elbow and triceps injuries. The right-hander underwent debridement surgery in September.
Darvish started against the White Sox in a Cactus League game on Sunday afternoon and fared quite well as he works his way back to form. He held the opposition hitless with three strikeouts. After the game, Darvish was quite optimistic about his performance. Via The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney), Darvish said, “I’m throwing 97 [MPH] and the slider was very good and the split was good, too, so that’s the best stuff in my life.”
That’s a slight variation on “I’m in the best shape of my life.” Not to poke too much fun, because a healthy and effective Darvish is a fun Darvish. The 32-year-old entered last season with a 3.42 ERA and 1,021 strikeouts in 832 1/3 career innings.
Darvish will hope to be a mainstay in a Cubs starting rotation that also includes Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, Kyle Hendricks, and José Quintana.
Last week there was a report that the San Diego Padres were doing “due diligence” on former Rangers manager and current Braves third base coach Ron Washington in connection with their managerial opening. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that Washington has already had an interview and that, in fact, the Padres are planning to call him back for a second round.
Also getting a second look: Rangers field coordinator Jayce Tingler. Which suggests that GM A.J. Preller, formerly a Rangers assistant GM, is favoring guys he knows from his time in Texas.
Washington managed the Texas Rangers from 2007 into 2014, winning two pennants and compiling a record of 664-611 (.521). He stepped down for personal reasons but since then has returned to the job in which he made his considerable reputation: coaching, specifically coaching infielders, and has gotten rave reviews. Assuming he’s back up for the grind of managing — and he wouldn’t be interviewing if he was not — he is definitely someone based on results and reputation who deserves another shot at the helm.
Tingler, a former Rangers farm hand, has coached in their organization at both the minor and major league levels for 12 years.