Chicago Cubs: Yu Darvish wants to prove to fans that he is worth the investment

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 21: Yu Darvish #11 of the Chicago Cubs looks on in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 21, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 6-2. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 21: Yu Darvish #11 of the Chicago Cubs looks on in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 21, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds won 6-2. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Cubs spent a large amount of money last off-season to bring in a starting pitcher that was not able to produce last season due to injuries.

On February 13th, 2018, the Chicago Cubs officially announced that Yu Darvish signed a six-year, $126.00 million contract to be a top of the rotation arm.  Unfortunately for Darvish and the Cubs organization, he was only able to appear in eight games last season with mediocre results.

During these eight appearances, Darvish only managed to put together a 1-3 win-loss record with a 4.95 ERA, 4.86 FIP, and a 1.425 WHIP through 40.0 innings pitched.  Despite the poor numbers from these appearances, he also spent a lot of time on the injured list.

From May 5th to May 15th, he was on the 10-day injured list due to a parainfluenza virus.  Following his return, he was only able to make two starts at the major league level before being sent back to the injured list on May 26th with right triceps tendonitis.  Although he had two different rehab stints with the South Bend Cubs, Darvish was unable to return to the major league level before the end of the season.

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Nonetheless, according to Steve Scheuer of WGN-TV on Twitter, Darvish “feels good and wants to prove to the Cubs fan he was and is worth the investment” following a 45-pitch mound session yesterday.  As his large investment was part of the reason the Cubs were unable to spend money on other free agents this off-season, getting Darvish back at full health will be huge for both the rotation and the team as a whole.

After all, the 31-year-old starting pitcher has earned four All-Star appearances throughout his first six seasons in the MLB.  Prior to last season, Darvish compiled a 56-42 win-loss record through 131 combined appearances between the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Dodgers.  During this time, he put together a stellar 3.42 ERA, 3.30 FIP, and 1.179 WHIP.  He also compiled an impressive 1021 strikeouts compared to 307 walks.

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In an interview with Paul Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago, Theo Epstein stated: “His health is everything, clearly.  I know it’s not worth anything at this point of the calendar, but the reports are terrific.  He’s added a lot of good muscle, he’s added a lot of flexibility.  Most importantly, his arm feels terrific.”  Between the quotes from Epstein about his health and the quotes from Darvish about wanting to prove his worth to the fans, everything could be in place for the right-handed starting pitcher to potentially be a top comeback player of the year candidate.