Cubs' Darvish takes step toward return with bullpen session
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yu Darvish plans to throw a bullpen Thursday in his next step toward rejoining the Chicago Cubs' rotation.
Darvish played catch Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, a day after he rejoined the team following a five-inning, 57-pitch rehab start with Class A South Bend on Monday.
The Japanese right-hander has been on the disabled list since May 26 because of tendinitis in his right triceps.
"I don't feel too bad today," Darvish said through a translator. "I wasn't 100 percent on Monday and it's just part of my rehab process. In terms of strength and endurance, I'm fine."
Darvish is back at Dodger Stadium for the first time since his awful outing for Los Angeles in Game 7 of the World Series last year. He allowed five runs and got only five outs as the Houston Astros clinched in front of the L.A. fans. He was equally ineffective in losing Game 3, giving up four runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Darvish, who joined the Dodgers at the July 31 trade deadline, said the move from Texas revived his passion for the game. Before the trade, he had told his wife that he might retire when his contract with the Rangers ended.
"Joining the Dodgers, I had a chance to find myself and be around a very supportive group of people. Baseball was really fun with the Dodgers," Darvish said. "The Dodgers really took care of me."
Darvish became a free agent after the World Series and although he wanted to stay with the Dodgers, he ended up signing a $126 million, six-year contract with the Cubs.
But he has yet to produce the kind of results that demanding Cubs fans expect. Darvish has a 4.95 ERA in eight starts and has been on the disabled list twice.
"I want to contribute to the team a lot more and to winning in general," he said. "Rather than what I want, it's more about what my body feels."
AP freelancer Olivia Sandusky contributed to this report.