DETROIT -- If the Cubs are going to get to the postseason, they will have to do so without Yu Darvish. An MRI on the Cubs right-hander revealed a stress reaction on his right pitching elbow as well as a triceps strain, and he will not pitch again this year."A
DETROIT -- If the Cubs are going to get to the postseason, they will have to do so without Yu Darvish. An MRI on the Cubs right-hander revealed a stress reaction on his right pitching elbow as well as a triceps strain, and he will not pitch again this year.
"A stress reaction is a precursor to a stress fracture," Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Tuesday. "There is no fracture. A stress reaction or bone bruise requires six weeks of down time and rest. Unfortunately, this will end Yu's season for 2018.
"We do believe that the stress reaction is what has been bugging him all the way back to the end of May, and looking back, is consistent with the symptoms and the pain he's been experiencing as he ramps up and tries to come back on two occasions now."
Darvish, 32, whom the Cubs signed to a six-year, $126 million contract in February, has not started since May 20 and was listed on the 60-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right triceps. On Sunday, he lasted one inning in a rehab start for Class A South Bend, then departed because of soreness in his right elbow.
Cubs orthopedic specialist Dr. Stephen Gryzlo examined Darvish on Monday in Chicago.
"We're really disappointed that he's hurt, but at least now we understand what he's been dealing with," Epstein said. "At least we have some clarity."
Minor League pitcher Alec Mills experienced the same thing, and Epstein said it took some time to diagnose that as well.
Darvish struggled to a 4.95 ERA and a career-high 4.7 walks per nine innings rate over the eight starts he made with Chicago. The Cubs did patch up one rotation hole with their July acquisition of left-hander Cole Hamels, and they enter play Tuesday still holding a three-game lead over the Brewers in the National League Central.
"He's tried to push through a lot of things, and obviously there's something there that we have to respect," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "All year I've never doubted that he's hurting, but I guess now we have more definitive measures based on the test that was utilized.
"Hopefully it turns out well and we get him back next year from Day 1 and take it from there. It's been a very difficult year for him, obviously, with the physical and maybe some of the emotional and mental pain. We're on his side. We want to get him well."
Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.