Chicago Cubs: Yu Darvish doesn’t have his splitter working

The Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish doesn’t have his split-fingered fastball working. The future is now for the Cubs pen. And Nico Hoerner is making adjustments, albeit small.

The Chicago Cubs’ Yu Darvish doesn’t have his split-fingered fastball. At least not now. It was evident as he allowed five consecutive hits, including a grand slam by former Cub and current White Sox’ Eloy Jimenez. I know he was going to be good–but not THAT good.

The inning was ended after a 29-first inning. He recovered after that and retired eight out of 10 batters. It was a 67-pitch outing that Darvish needed to atone for. The split-fingered fastball was the worst of his pitches, and David Ross discussed it with him.

“We talked a little bit,” Ross said. “He knew he just couldn’t get out in front of it and reach on that split-finger.” h/t Mark Gonzalez, Chicago Tribune

Darvish was spectacular the second-half of the season. He allowed a 2.76 ERA, with 118 strikeouts and just SEVEN walks–much more than his 49 from the first-half. His wOBA (weighted on-base average) was .254, and his xFIP was 2.37. Easily, he had one of the best second-halves of his career. Now to link it to the first-half and he’d be okay.

The Cubs’ future is now. The bullpen needed a little ‘fixin’ after losing Steve Cishek, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and others. Now, they added Craig Kimbrel, Rowan Wick, Jeremy Jeffress and Jharel Cotton. Ship him out, to be honest–but that’s my opinion. They need to settle this bullpen, and Tommy Hottovy feels like it’s coming together.

“We’re going to need guys to be ready right out of the gate,” pitching coach Hottovy said. “March was important, but I would argue that right now what we’re seeing, what we feel is going to give us the best chance of winning right out of the gates, we have to be aggressive with that approach.”

The Cubs’ Nico Hoerner admits he misses the crowd noise–especially coming out of the gate to hit pregame stretches. Hoerner, two years removed from his Stanford days, says it’s good having a 60-game schedule. He likened it to a college schedule–with no fans.

“It feels pretty familiar, and there’s no one in the stands, just like college baseball.” Hoerner said.

So Darvish needs to work on his splitter. The time is now for the Cubs bullpen. And Hoerner shouldn’t mind playing with no fans. Did I forget anything?

 

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