Yu Darvish reported deal with the Cubs has one year for every pitch he throws
Yu Darvish shocked the postseason-watching world when he drew a bases-loaded walk against C.J. Edwards while in Wrigley Field. It's fitting, then, that the Cubs reportedly signed him to a six-year, $126 million deal. Of course, the Cubs didn't sign Darvish for his work at the plate -- this home run notwithstanding -- but because he has the ability to be one of the most dominant starters any time he picks up the ball.
That's not just because of his mid-90s fastball, but because he can -- and will -- throw pretty much any type of pitch. In fact, last year Darvish threw six different pitches, so perhaps the six-year deal is in honor of his repertoire. Since NL Central batters will now have to deal with this endless arsenal, let's take a look at them:
Though physics say a fastball can't actually rise, watching Darvish throw it is like seeing a magician at work: You know it can't be real, and yet it is. Rarely does Giancarlo Stanton have a swing that looks so, well weak:
Most pitchers need to take a little off their fastball to get it to cut a little bit more. And Darvish does, too ... well, not really. His average two-seamer is just a half-tick below his four-seamer. Sorry batters, one will rise and the other will dart and you'll be left simply rolling it over:
Everyone apparently throws a cutter and Darvish is no exception. Just when you think it's gonna break arm-side, he'll have it sweep across the corner:
This is the money pitch. Befitting the name slider, it seems to slide between planes of existence -- which is probably why batters whiffed on it 56 percent of the time last year.
When he doesn't have it sliding off the plate, he'll give it a little hiccup -- a little lurch -- and batters look just about the same:
Darvish only threw this one 63 times last year. But he chose his spots well as batters hit only .154 against the off-speed offering.
Of course, what may terrify NL Central hitters even more is that this isn't even the end of Darvish's arsenal. When he wants, he'll drop in an eephus, and he could one day decide to go full Pat Venditte: Not only does he routinely warm up while throwing left-handed, but he claims he can reach 82 mph, too.