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Yu Darvish has another rehab setback. What’s his future with the Cubs?

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That’s a question that has to be seriously pondered now.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish threw one inning for the South Bend Cubs Sunday afternoon. According to the game log, he allowed a single and a walk, retired the next two hitters on a fly ball and popup, threw a wild pitch and then got the third out on a called strike three. He threw 19 pitches, 10 for strikes.

And then this happened:

Now, obviously I’m no baseball injury expert, nor medical expert, but this clearly appears to be more than just a “setback.” After that last “setback” in late June, following the previous rehab outing in South Bend, it took him almost two months to get back on a pitching mound again.

It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Darvish needs a second Tommy John surgery. There, I said it.

If that’s true and if Darvish had TJS right now, he might be ready for spring training... in 2020. I can tell you that there was no shortage of photos to choose from for this post of Darvish sitting in the Cubs dugout, looking pensive.

This obviously isn’t optimal for Darvish’s future with the Cubs, or indeed even in major league baseball. I certainly think we have seen Darvish’s last pitch for the 2018 Cubs. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that we have seen Darvish’s last pitch for the Cubs, period.

Maybe that’s too harsh a judgment. You certainly can’t fault Theo & Co. for making the choice to sign Darvish, presuming he was healthy at the beginning of the contract. That’s something that will have to be determined between Darvish, his agent and Cubs management, likely after the season’s over.

In the meantime, the Cubs will have to find another starter to fill in until Mike Montgomery is ready to return to action. Hopefully, whatever’s wrong with MiMo isn’t serious and he can return right after his 10-day DL stint is up (he’s eligible to be activated on the 24th). If not, they’re really going to have to scramble. Duane Underwood Jr. or Alec Mills could be recalled to take a spot in the rotation, or the Cubs can see who’s left out there that they could acquire by trade, someone who’s cleared waivers.

It’s truly unfortunate that the Yu Darvish signing turned out this way. Yes, the Cubs could have signed Jake Arrieta or Miles Mikolas or any one of several other pitchers and been better off. But they didn’t, and now they’re going to have to make the best of it.

Poll

Yu Darvish’s next pitch for the Cubs will be...

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    ... in 2018
    (74 votes)
  • 23%
    ... in 2019
    (506 votes)
  • 20%
    ... in 2020
    (437 votes)
  • 1%
    ... after 2020
    (37 votes)
  • 50%
    ... never
    (1087 votes)
2141 votes total Vote Now