Chicago Cubs: Don’t forget – he tried to pitch through his injury
Darvish fought hard to make a return in 2018 but ultimately, the organization decided the best decision would be to focus on long-term health. In late September, he had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow.
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After the decision, Darvish felt relieved that he could make his health a top priority and not have to feel pressured into returning. So things are already off to a good start for the right-hander, as he feels at ease in his situation and is ready to put in the rehab in order to be ready for 2019. He still has a long way to go to make himself worth the $126 million, but taking that first step to accept where you’re at is big.
One thing we can’t help but think about when we think of Darvish is Jason Heyward. It seems like they’ve had identical situations. Heyward signs the massive deal, doesn’t live up to it, and Cubs fans almost saw him as a ‘lost cause’.
Then, out of the blue, he hit his stride and proved himself to the organization and his contributions were surprisingly huge additions to a great core. Darvish is off to that same start. He’s signed the massive deal, hasn’t lived up to it, and Cubs fans have firmly written him off.
There won’t be nearly as much pressure on Darvish heading into 2019 and I believe this will be big for him. Coming from Japan, I’m sure a big thing for him is making sure he fits in, and when you get off to such a rough start with a city with so much love for their team, it’s got to make you uncomfortable.