For the first 35 games of the season, seven times through a five-man rotation, the Cubs have used the same five pitchers, in the same order (with the sole exception of Jen-Ho Tseng’s start Tuesday against the Marlins): Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood. This was true even with all the postponements and off days in April.
That’s going to change next week:
Darvish (Yu Flu) to be activated from DL to start Tuesday in Atlanta.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) May 11, 2018
Manager Joe Maddon said Jose Quintana will start Monday in the makeup game against the Braves at Wrigley, replacing Darvish, who was booed in his last start against the Rockies and later was placed on the 10-day disabled list with the flu.
Maddon said the Cubs wanted to give Darvish “one extra day” off, though he didn’t elaborate.
Darvish, who has missed one start, appears to be fine and now will start Tuesday in Atlanta.
I find this interesting. “One extra day” shouldn’t seem to matter much, and it’s not like the Cubs are having Darvish avoid a certain opponent, since they’re playing the Braves both days. Could it be that they want Darvish to make a couple of starts on the road, hope he does better, and avoid him being booed at Wrigley again?
Presuming they stay with this change, Darvish would start Tuesday in Atlanta, then a week from Sunday in Cincinnati. That would mean his next start at Wrigley Field wouldn’t come up until May 27 against the Giants — and with two off days that week, if they really wanted to, the Cubs could skip his turn at home and have him start May 28 at Pittsburgh. That would push his next Wrigley start into June, by which time (hopefully) he’ll be pitching better.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but the push of Darvish back one day doesn’t really make sense otherwise.