Yu Darvish
Yu Darvish
32-Year-Old PitcherSP
Chicago Cubs
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Darvish made only eight starts before being sidelined with a right triceps impingement. After several setbacks, Darvish finally made a rehab start on Aug. 19, lasting one inning before aggravating his shoulder. An MRI revealed a stress reaction on the tip of his elbow along with a triceps strain. Darvish was shut down and underwent a minimally-invasive arthroscopic debridement in mid-September. He’s expected to be 100 percent by the spring. While on the hill, Darvish was off to the worst start of his career, posting a 4.95 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 40 innings. He was missing bats as evidenced by a 27.2 K%, but he was also missing the plate, sporting an elevated 11.7 BB%. Darvish must be considered a performance and injury risk as it’s never good for a Tommy John recoveree to incur arm issues of any nature. As enticing as his strikeouts remain, it's best to view Darvish as a staff luxury as opposed to foundational force. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs in February of 2018.
Tosses six scoreless
PChicago Cubs
July 12, 2019
Darvish threw six shutout innings Friday, allowing just two hits with one walk and eight strikeouts during a no-decision against the Pirates.
ANALYSIS
This was arguably Darvish's best outing of the season, as it was the first time all year he didn't yield a run. Still, he wasn't rewarded with a win because the Cubs bullpen allowed the Bucs to tie the game in the eighth. Darvish will look to build upon this success, which he hasn't been able to do recently -- he's yielded one run in an outing two times since the end of May, but then followed that up with poor starts. Darvish is 2-4 with a 4.72 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 119 strikeouts in 103 innings this season. He is set to make his next appearance against the Reds on Wednesday.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-27%
BAA vs RHP
2019
 
 
-28%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-29%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-26%
BAA vs RHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .261 695 175 59 163 29 1 34
Since 2017vs Right .190 691 202 70 115 27 1 20
2019vs Left .253 221 52 20 50 7 1 14
2019vs Right .181 219 67 30 33 6 0 6
2018vs Left .276 88 19 9 21 3 0 4
2018vs Right .195 92 30 12 15 5 0 3
2017vs Left .262 386 104 30 92 19 0 16
2017vs Right .194 380 105 28 67 16 1 11
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
 
 
-40%
ERA on Road
2019
 
 
-31%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-13%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-54%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2017Home 5.36 1.36 163.0 4 13 0 10.2 3.6 1.9
Since 2017Away 3.19 1.12 166.2 9 6 0 10.4 3.4 1.1
2019Home 5.53 1.38 53.2 0 3 0 10.2 4.5 2.0
2019Away 3.83 1.20 49.1 2 1 0 10.6 4.2 1.5
2018Home 5.40 1.87 15.0 0 2 0 12.0 5.4 2.4
2018Away 4.68 1.16 25.0 1 1 0 10.4 4.3 1.1
2017Home 5.25 1.26 94.1 4 8 0 9.9 2.9 1.7
2017Away 2.44 1.06 92.1 6 4 0 10.2 2.7 0.9
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Stat Review
How does Yu Darvish compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 70 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
2.38
 
K/9
10.4
 
BB/9
4.4
 
HR/9
1.7
 
Fastball
94.0 mph
 
ERA
4.72
 
WHIP
1.29
 
BABIP
.269
 
GB/FB
1.56
 
Left On Base
73.3%
 
Exit Velocity
88.5 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
8.4%
 
Spin Rate
2523 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
38.2%
 
Swinging Strike
12.3%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
While a pair of rough starts in the World Series may have cost him some money in free agency, there shouldn't be any lasting effect in terms of 2018 performance. Darvish fashions one of the league's top strikeout arms, finishing 12th last season with 209 punchouts. His 1.16 WHIP was ninth best among hurlers with at least 180 innings, though a high home run rate resulted in a bloated 3.86 ERA. Darvish was one of the bigger names moved at the July 31 trade deadline as the Rangers parted ways with their ace. With the Dodgers, the 30-year old righty spun a 3.44 ERA, recording four of the 10 wins earned for the season. Darvish's best pitch is the slider, which was purportedly hindered by a slicker ball used in the playoffs. Another year removed from Tommy John surgery, there's no reason the veteran shouldn't challenge 200 innings, with well over 200 whiffs. One tier down from the elite, Darvish is still a fantasy stud.
Darvish's road to recovery from Tommy John surgery had some speed bumps, as a return trip to the disabled list with neck and shoulder issues occurred just three starts into his comeback. He didn't get as many as 90 pitches into a start until just before the All-Star break, after which he went on a streak of eight consecutive quality starts. The Rangers were careful with his single-game workloads, allowing Darvish to exceed 100 pitches in just two of his 17 starts, but most compelling was his sudden affinity for low-walk outings. Darvish walked one or zero batters in 11 of those 17 starts, and in the low-walk games he had a K:BB of 90:9 in 69.1 combined innings. Pitch command is typically the last thing to come around for a pitcher coming off major elbow surgery, so the fact that his stuff was intact and that his command was potentially better than pre-Tommy John mean that his skills survived the trip under the knife. He could take off once fully unbridled.
Darvish missed the entire 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery performed in mid-March. The timing of the surgery gives Darvish a reasonable chance to be ready for action when the season begins, though a late-April or early-May return may be more likely. Darvish's numbers in 2014 were a slight dip from his excellent 2013 campaign, thanks to a large jump in BABIP (.275 to .348), but a healthy Darvish should find himself near the top of pitcher rankings by season's end. He gives Texas a formidable duo along with Cole Hamels, and Hamels' presence should allow Texas to bring Darvish back up to speed at a slightly slower pace out of spring training if needed.
Many thought Darvish would be among the select few challenging Clayton Kershaw for the top spot on the pitcher rankings after a tremendous 2013 where it seemed like he was primed for a no-hitter every time out. Despite lowering his walk rate and maintaining a tremendous strikeout rate, Darvish just wasn't himself in 2014 and even lost time to a pair of DL stints, including elbow inflammation that cost him almost all of the final two months. Was the elbow to blame for his .334 BABIP and 8.3 H/9 or was there degradation of his stuff? Darvish left his first spring training start in March after just one inning due to triceps soreness. The Rangers sent him for an MRI, which revealed a torn UCL, and he will miss the entire 2015 season following Tommy John surgery.
Darvish enjoyed a Cy Young-caliber season in just his second year in the majors, leading the AL in strikeouts with 277 in 209.2 innings pitched. He also cut back a tick on his walks allowed, but he had some truly terrible luck to only end up with 13 victories on the year. Darvish pushed his swinging-strike rate up to 12.6% (from 11.8% in his first big league season), as he continues to keep hitters off balance with an arsenal of nasty offerings. He also erased concerns about having to pitch half of his games in Arlington, posting a better ERA at home (2.69) than on the road (3.05) as well as a better home-run rate in his home starts (0.9 HR/9 vs. 1.3 HR/9). In most situations, Darvish will be one of the first five starting pitchers off the board in 2014.
Darvish's much anticipated rookie season was largely a success, racking up 16 wins and 221 strikeouts. He struggled at times with his control, resulting in a poor stretch in July and August, but his September (36.2 innings, 20 hits, 39:7 K:BB) deserved more attention than it received thanks to Texas' collapse over the final few weeks. One explanation for the late-season improvement was increased reliance on his cutter. It's also possible that his arsenal became a bit easier for umpires to handle with respect to the strike zone. In any event, Darvish swing-and-miss stuff, and a slight reduction in his walk rate immediately vaults him among the ranks of the American League elite.
Darvish is considered Japan's top pitcher and perhaps the best player to come over from Japan since Ichiro Suzuki. He's had an ERA below 2.00 for five consecutive seasons, but had his best season in 2011. Darvish set personal bests in wins (18), ERA (1.44), shutouts (6), innings pitched (232), strikeouts (276), and walks (36). While the new pitcher-friendly ball may have helped his stats, Darvish added about 20 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame. He was also more assertive with his fastball than in previous years, frequently working at the higher end of his 92-95 mph range. He may lose a pitch from his deep repertoire and he'll have to adjust physically toward pitching more frequently with more demanding travel. Plus, he'll have to adjust mentally to not always being the best player on the field. But overall, Darvish has the polished talent to be a frontline MLB starter, and appears to have the makeup to realize his potential. Texas won his rights by bidding a record $51.7 million in the posting system with NPB. While he'll be in a hitter's park, he may quickly become an elite fantasy option.
Darvish is regarded as Japan's top pitcher and is perhaps the top player in the world not playing in the U.S. He was his usual dominant self in 2010, becoming the third NPB pitcher to post four consecutive sub-2.00 ERA seasons (and the other two played in the 1950's dead ball era). MLB transfer rumors were in overdrive until October, when he announced he would stay in Japan in 2011. Darvish has always been adamant about not wanting to move to MLB, but 2010 saw him soften his stance on the idea a bit. He still has four years of service time to go before qualifying for international free agency, and Nippon Ham will want keep him around for as long as possible. Still, he could be posted ahead of the 2012 season, but more likely he won't be in the U.S. for several more years if he decides to make the move.
Darvish is regarded as Japan's top pitcher and is perhaps the top player in the world not playing in the U.S. Japan's heir-apparent to Daisuke Matsuzaka has lived up to his billing with three consecutive sub-2.00 ERA, sub-1.00 WHIP seasons. Matsuzaka, by comparison, put up one sub-1.00 WHIP season and never posted an ERA below 2.13. Darvish has repeatedly denied any interest in moving to MLB, but the competition and dollars could prove difficult to resist. Any decision to move to the U.S. is unlikely before 2014.
More Fantasy News
Tosses up two homers in no-decision
PChicago Cubs
July 3, 2019
Darvish recorded six strikeouts and allowed four runs on seven hits across 6.2 innings during a no-decision against the Pirates on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Starting Wednesday
PChicago Cubs
June 30, 2019
Darvish is scheduled to start Wednesday's game at Pittsburgh, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Gives up five runs in loss
PChicago Cubs
June 26, 2019
Darvish (2-4) gave up five runs on five hits and two walks while striking out eight through five innings to take the loss against the Braves on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
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Allows four runs in no-decision
PChicago Cubs
June 21, 2019
Darvish allowed four runs over six innings and did not factor into the decision in Friday's loss to the Mets. He gave up just four hits and two walks, while striking out six.
ANALYSIS
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Fans 10 in no-decision
PChicago Cubs
June 16, 2019
Darvish didn't factor into the decision in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Dodgers, allowing one run on two hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out 10.
ANALYSIS
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