CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish said he felt some relief after getting the diagnosis that he has a stress reaction on his elbow, which has shut him down for the season. What's next for the right-hander?
"It's really hard to think about next year at this point," Darvish said Thursday through his interpreter. "Right now, what I can do is what's best for my arm."
When asked about possibly retiring, Darvish didn't answer the question directly, only saying that now that he knows what's wrong, it will make him "stronger going forward." An arthrogram on Monday revealed the stress reaction.
"In the beginning, I was told it was tightness, but I always knew there was something else other than the tightness," Darvish said. "With the diagnosis, I'm relieved to know what that something was."
Darvish knows there are some who questioned whether he was hurt. After signing a six-year, $126 million contract in February, he made eight starts, and was 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA. He last pitched on May 20.
"I think it's just natural for me to receive those kind of [critical] comments because they don't understand where the pain is or how much the pain is," he said.
Darvish didn't think the workload from the 2017 World Series affected him this season. He said he did not feel any pain until after his May 20 outing against the Reds.
"I never doubt when a player tells me he's hurt that he's hurt," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "When a world-class athlete tells you things are not right, I believe him."
• The Cubs did their homework regarding Daniel Murphy and his stance on homosexuals. In 2015, Murphy told NJ.com that he "disagreed with their lifestyle." Since then, Murphy has talked to Billy Bean, who is Major League Baseball's first ambassador for inclusion.
• Murphy logs pair of hits, RBI in Cubs debut
"What I would say to that is I've been able to foster what I would call a positive relationshp with Billy Bean since that time," Murphy said on Thursday. "I'm really excited to continue to cultivate that relationship that we've built. Billy's job is ambassador for inclusion with Major League Baseball, which is a vital role, so everyone feels included and not just in baseball but in all aspects of life.
"I hope that anyone who comes to Wrigley Field would feel welcome," Murphy said. "That's the hope of Major League Baseball. Speaking with Billy Bean and the relationship we've been able to forge, that's what he's trying to do. I think that's what we're trying to do as an industry is make people feel welcome."
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said they did talk to Bean about Murphy before acquiring the infielder from the Nationals.
"We knew that [Bean] and Daniel had a friendship since [the comments]," Hoyer said. "We called [Bean] and wanted to get his impression on it. He was really positive and thought the organization could benefit from his presence and we felt that was important to us to make that phone call."
• Brandon Morrow, on the disabled list since July 18 because of right biceps inflammation, was examined by the Cubs medical staff on Thursday but more as a gauge as to his progress in his rehab. Morrow was not expected back until September.
Left-hander Brian Duensing (left shoulder inflammation) will begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Friday with Iowa, which was facing Omaha.
• C.J. Edwards had a difficult outing on Wednesday against the Tigers, giving up one hit and walking one in one-third of an inning. He had not pitched since Sunday and felt the layoff may have contributed.
"I feel a little more consistent," Edwards said. "I feel I can walk the bases loaded and then strike out a guy and get a double play and get out of the inning."
He did ride the bullpen cart at Comerica Park. Why?
"I liked it because it had flames [painted] on it," he said.
• Alec Mills will make his first Major League start on Friday in the second game of the Cubs' four-game series against the Reds. Mills was 5-12 with a 4.84 ERA in 23 starts at Triple-A Iowa. In his last outing on Aug. 18, he gave up two runs over six innings, striking out seven.
• Cubs catcher Willson Contreras surprised Daniel Rodriguez and 60 of his classmates at Enger School in Franklin Park, Ill.
The two first met when Contreras visited the young fan at Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., in January 2017. Last February, Advocate and the Cubs partnered to sponsor a trip for nine patients and their families to travel to Spring Training in Mesa, Ariz., and Contreras and Rodriguez reconnected. Last June, Contreras played an unforgettable role in Daniel's 10th birthday surprise at Wrigley Field, hitting a home run that day in his first at-bat.
Contreras joined Rodriguez and his classmates on the playground on Thursday. Later, Contreras was recognized as Advocate Children's Hospital's MVP of the Year.