Yu Darvish was not lying when he said he did not quit on the Texas Rangers. He may have some diva, but he is not a quitter. Any thought he was a quitter died when the Rangers announced he is likely lost for the season.
News that Darvish has a tear in his right elbow that will likely require season-ending Tommy John surgery should make all of us reconsider the stance we had on the Rangers’ ace last season when he missed the final seven weeks. When 2015 spring training began, Yu addressed the “he quit” claim with a terse “that’s bull****.” in English, no less.
On Aug. 13, 2014, the Rangers placed their All-Star starter on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. The line given was that his “body told” Yu to take it easy. At the time of that announcement, Rangers GM Jon Daniels said that Yu told him he might be able to pitch if it “it was a meaningful game.” That did not go over well, and created the appearance of a superstar ducking dog games.
My reaction was - he is shutting it down because the season is gone. It happens all the time with guys who have large contracts.
A lot of established Major Leaguers will use minor injuries to get out of playing, so the Diva Darvish title seemed appropriate. A lot of guys with the Rangers were irritated that Darvish was allowed to quit on the season when the rest were showing up every day despite “nothing” to play for.
Now we know for sure that label does not fit Darvish. His right elbow was clearly more damaged than previously thought, and chances are good he was pitching in pain during dog games.
On Saturday morning, the Rangers said they are exploring three options for Darvish right now:
1.) Pitch through it.
2.) Rest and rehab.
3.) Tommy John surgery.
Daniels said Darvish has essentially already tried to do options 1 and 2, and that to not have surgery now may be delaying the inevitable. TJ surgery is all but inevitable, and chances are good the Yu that we all have come to expect won’t return until sometime during the 2016 season.
Pitchers routinely return from Tommy John surgery as good as they were before the operation, but it does take a long time. Think 16 months, minimum. When he does return, we should not expect the same guy right away. We should not expect a quitter, either.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760