Yu Darvish
Yu Darvish
32-Year-Old PitcherSP
Chicago Cubs
Out
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 2/1/2019
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs in February of 2018.
Undergoes arthroscopic elbow procedure
PChicago Cubs
Elbow
September 12, 2018
Darvish underwent a minimally invasive arthroscopic debridement procedure of his right elbow Wednesday. He is expected to be "100 percent ready" for spring training in 2019, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Darvish underwent this "routine cleanup" by Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas after getting a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews in recent days. The right-hander was officially ruled out for the rest of the 2018 campaign over three weeks ago once he was diagnosed with a stress reaction on the tip of his elbow, which caused him to exit his rehab start after just one inning of work. The Cubs failed to provide any sort of concrete timetable outside of announcing that he is expected to be ready by the spring, so expect updates on his progress throughout the offseason.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-18%
BAA vs RHP
2018
 
 
-29%
BAA vs RHP
2017
 
 
-26%
BAA vs RHP
2016
 
 
-6%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .248 668 186 56 149 28 2 24
Since 2016vs Right .203 694 204 54 127 28 2 22
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
2016vs Left .207 194 63 17 36 6 2 4
2016vs Right .221 222 69 14 45 7 1 8
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-44%
ERA on Road
2018
 
 
-13%
ERA on Road
2017
 
 
-54%
ERA on Road
2016
 
 
-46%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 4.92 1.30 166.1 10 12 0 10.6 3.1 1.6
Since 2016Away 2.74 1.05 160.2 8 8 0 10.9 3.0 0.9
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
2016Home 4.26 1.23 57.0 6 2 0 11.4 2.8 1.3
2016Away 2.28 0.97 43.1 1 3 0 12.5 2.7 0.8
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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.
K/BB
2.33
 
K/9
11.0
 
BB/9
4.7
 
HR/9
1.6
 
Fastball
94.0 mph
 
ERA
4.95
 
WHIP
1.43
 
BABIP
.313
 
GB/FB
1.05
 
Strand %
70.0%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
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
Ruled out for season
PChicago Cubs
Elbow
August 21, 2018
Darvish was ruled out for the season Tuesday after being diagnosed with a stress reaction on the tip of his elbow in addition to a triceps strain, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic Chicago reports.
ANALYSIS
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MRI on tap
PChicago Cubs
Shoulder
August 19, 2018
Darvish will undergo an MRI on his shoulder after leaving his rehab start Sunday after just one inning, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Lasts just one inning in rehab appearance
PChicago Cubs
Shoulder
August 19, 2018
Darvish (shoulder) was removed after just one inning in his rehab start for Low-A South Bend on Sunday, Bruce Levine of 670TheScore.com reports.
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Ticketed for South Bend rehab start
PChicago Cubs
Shoulder
August 17, 2018
Darvish (shoulder) will make a rehab start with Low-A South Bend on Sunday, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports.
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To begin rehab assignment Sunday
PChicago Cubs
Shoulder
August 16, 2018
Darvish (shoulder) will start a rehab assignment with one of the Cubs' minor-league affiliates Sunday, Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
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