Just how big a boost could a healthy, effective Yu Darvish be to the Chicago Cubs? Let’s take a look at what we should expect from the right-hander in 2019.
It’s far too soon to label Chicago Cubs starter Yu Darvish and his six-year, $126 million contract a bust. The first year? Yes – it absolutely falls into that category. But you can’t judge a book by the first chapter, the same as you cannot issue a judgment on a six-year deal after just eight starts.
Theo Epstein brought Darvish in last winter, hoping to inject a high-end, younger starter into a rotation headlined by aging, albeit still effective Jon Lester. Instead, he got an oft-injured, inconsistent arm who failed to take the mound after mid-May.
Injuries piled up and cost the Japanese-born pitcher most of the 2018 campaign. This offseason, he went under the knife and is already down in Mesa working out at the Cubs’ facility – a promising sign.
Epstein and his front office are standing pat this winter, handicapped by payroll limitations brought on, at least in part, by the signing of Darvish. So, at this point, one thing is abundantly clear: the Chicago Cubs need Yu Darvish to pitch well in 2019 to have any shot at recapturing the division.