San Diego Padres starter Yu Darvish will not pitch for the remainder of the 2023 season as he deals with a stress reaction in his olecranon, the bony point of the elbow, he said Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- San Diego placed the right-hander on the 15-day injured list with elbow inflammation at the end of August.
- Darvish said he tried to pitch through the issue, but after not progressing as hoped, he will rest for five to six weeks before being re-evaluated. Darvish underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery in September 2018 (while with the Chicago Cubs) after being diagnosed with a stress reaction in his elbow the previous month.
- The five-time All-Star, 37, went 8-10 with a 4.56 ERA and 1.298 WHIP over 136 1/3 innings this season.
Yu Darvish has been shut down for the rest of the season. He learned recently he has an olecranon stress reaction in his elbow, and tried to pitch through it. After not progressing as hoped, he will rest for the next several weeks.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) September 13, 2023
The Athletic’s instant analysis:
What’s the prognosis for Darvish?
In August 2018, an MRI revealed a stress reaction in Darvish’s right elbow, and the pitcher was shut down for the rest of what had already been an injury-plagued debut season for the Chicago Cubs. The following month, he underwent arthroscopic surgery. He rebounded in 2019 to pitch a full season for the Cubs.
Five years later, it is too soon to know whether Darvish will need another surgery, though there are similarities surrounding the discovery of another stress reaction. Darvish said imaging taken after his Aug. 25 start in Milwaukee revealed the stress reaction in his elbow. He subsequently received a cortisone shot in an attempt to address inflammation and later began playing catch. But he recently experienced unusual irritation in the elbow, prompting the decision to shut him down.
Darvish will now rest for five to six weeks in hopes that the time off allows the stress reaction to heal. — Lin
How might this affect the Padres’ 2024 rotation?
Also too soon to know, but it does add more uncertainty. Darvish has mostly performed well since the start of 2019, but he is 37 years old and now coming off his rockiest season since 2018. The Padres certainly envisioned a smoother start to his six-year, $108 million extension, which already looks like another questionable contract for a team with several of those.
Meanwhile, Joe Musgrove (shoulder capsule inflammation) is still playing catch but is unlikely to pitch again this season. He, too, could soon be shut down. It might be for the best; the Padres have been virtually eliminated from playoff contention, and shoulder capsule injuries are cause for significant concern.
If the Padres are to rebound from a massive failure of a season, they will need Musgrove and Darvish both near 100 percent by next spring — especially because Blake Snell and Michael Wacha can soon become free agents. (The Padres must decide whether to exercise a two-year, $32 million club option on Wacha.) — Lin
Darvish and the Padres agreed to a six-year $108 million contract extension that runs through 2028 in February. He is in his third season with San Diego after being traded by the Cubs in December 2020.
Darvish recorded a 3.10 ERA with 197 strikeouts in 194 2/3 innings pitched last season. He owns a career 3.59 ERA over 1,624 1/2 innings pitched.
The Padres are 68-77 this season, 20 games back in the National League West and eight games back of a wild-card spot.
(Photo: Orlando Ramirez / USA Today)