Tom Petty was right, the waiting really is the hardest part. Especially when that waiting stretches out even longer than initially expected, which is what happens when the doctor reportedly doesn’t review the MRI results. Not that a few hours, or even a full day, would really matter when it comes to Yu Darvish’s availability and immediate recovery.
Darvish went to the DL this past Saturday with triceps soreness, which was immediate cause for alarm throughout Cubdom. And though Darvish supposedly told someone that the pain was in a different location from what he’d experienced prior to Tommy John surgery, Joe Maddon’s description of the issue didn’t inspire a great deal of hope.
“A couple days before [placing Darvish on the DL], we were talking about it a little bit and we thought we could work through it with the trainers making him feel better,” Maddon explained to 670 The Score’s Bernstein and McKnight. “But it just did not want to go away. He kept throwing and testing it and possibly that made it even worse.
“I asked him, I said, ‘Is this soreness or stiffness or is this pain?’ Soreness or stiffness I would have asked him to play through it, but it was absolutely…there was some pain in there. So you don’t mess with pain.”
Man, that sounds like Clubber Lang offering a prediction for his upcoming bout with Rocky Balboa, and we all know how that one turned out. Wait, Rocky actually emerged victorious, at least after hiring erstwhile nemesis Apollo Creed to train him in the wake of Mickey’s passing.
Wow, yeah, now we’ve gotten way off track.
Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey did not reveal the results of Darvish’s MRI when he spoke with 670’s Mully and Hanley Wednesday morning, but said that Darvish was expected to resume throwing activities in the next four or five days. He added that the DL stint was just a matter of “giving [the soreness] a couple days to calm down,” which certainly seems to indicate that the issue was indeed relatively minor.
“It was something that was bothering him for a little big,” Hickey explained. “It was getting progressively better. A couple days prior to the [most recent scheduled], he was telling me 70, 80 percent. It was continually getting better, but it just didn’t quite get there and we didn’t see the need to push it at that particular point.”
Darvish looked good in his most recent start in Cincinnati, striking out seven Reds and allowing only two hits over six innings. There was, however, the matter of his release point dipping to its lowest level of the season. In several seasons, actually. The variation was relatively minor, but it may have signaled that the big righty was dealing with some discomfort.
And as you can see from the video above, there was a moment early in that Reds game where Darvish appeared to be shaking his arm out briefly following a strikeout of Tyler Mahle. It may have been nothing, just a signal that he was feeling good and to keep things going, but the aftermath raises some reasonable questions.
We should find out more about the specifics regarding the MRI here shortly, but Hickey’s words do add a much more positive spin on the whole deal.