Chicago Cubs hurler Yu Darvish has had an up-and-down season to date, but one stat points out just how rough things have been for him thus far in 2019.
The Cubs hurler has been inconsistent, to say the least, winning just two of his eight starts to date. Yes, Darvish has matched his starts total from last season, but he has a 5.40 ERA and has pitched a grand total of just 36 2/3 innings across those eight outings.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs: Adrian Sampson is forcing his way into the conversation
- Projecting the Chicago Cubs bullpen to open the 2023 season
- Cubs fans are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel
- Justin Steele has evolved into a frontline starter for the Cubs
- The future of first base is murky right now for the Cubs
Of those eight starts, Darvish has pitched a full six innings just once (April 27 against Arizona). In fact, he’s pitched just four innings or less in half of his outings, an extremely inefficient output.
Darvish’s biggest and most obvious concern this season has been his control. Including Thursday’s start against the Miami Marlins, he has walked 33 batters this season, five more than anyone else in baseball. For Cubs fans, though, a similar stat should be even more concerning.
Last season, Tyler Chatwood walked 32 batters in his first 37 2/3 innings (h/t Tony Andracki). Essentially, Darvish has one more walk in one fewer inning than Chatwood did after a similar amount of time one year ago.
As many know, Chatwood wound up walking a league-worst 95 batters in 103 2/3 innings last season. While the right-hander looks like a changed pitcher this season, he worked his tail off during the offseason to make mechanical adjustments.
Darvish does not have this same luxury, as the Cubs (22-13) have climbed from the NL Central basement to take the lead in the division standings. Chicago needs Darvish to get “right,” and they need it as soon as possible.
Chatwood and Darvish are two different men and players, so this comparison is not entirely fair. However, after what the former went through in 2018, seeing Darvish trend the same way has to be uneasy for the team and player alike.
The way Darvish has worked his way back to a big league mound after nearly a year away is admirable. The Cubs didn’t sign him to a lucrative six-year contract expecting moral victories in return, though. At some point, he has to start consistently posting positive results.