Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish could be on track to rejoin the team’s rotation in early September, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Darvish’s two-inning, 33-pitch sim game on Wednesday went well, manager Joe Maddon suggested. The next step for the 31-year-old Darvish is to embark on a rehab assignment, which may happen by the end of next week, per Wittenmyer. Triceps and elbow problems have kept the big-money free-agent signing off a major league mound since May 20.
More from around the game…
- Rangers righty Bartolo Colon may be open to returning in 2019, when he’ll turn 46 years old. Colon became the winningest Latin American-born pitcher ever on Tuesday, when he racked up his 246th victory in a defeat of Seattle. After the game, Colon told Levi Weaver of The Athletic (subscription link): “There is one thing that I look for: Juan Marichal has more innings than me. For Dominicans, I want to beat him also, and I think I have about fifty innings left.” Colon actually has 62 innings left to pass Marichal’s 3,507 1/3 frames, Weaver points out. With time running out in 2018, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to overtake Marichal this year. Regardless, Colon has given this year’s Rangers more than they realistically could have expected upon signing him to a minor league deal last offseason, as he leads the team in innings (130 1/3) and walk rate (1.52 BB/9) even though he has only managed a 5.18 ERA/5.21 FIP.
- Hyped Yankees first baseman Greg Bird has been a disappointment so far in 2018, having hit .211/.301/.402 in 236 plate appearances. As a result, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post wonders how much longer the Yankees can count on Bird, whom injuries have limited to 580 PAs since his 2015 debut and who has batted a modest .222/.312/.450 along the way. Bird’s still just 25 years old, though, and seems to have Yankees brass in his corner, as Davidoff notes. Angels general manager Billy Eppler, who was with the Yankees when they used a fifth-round pick on Bird in 2011, also isn’t ready to give up on the lefty-swinger, telling Davidoff that a team doesn’t know what it has in a player until he reaches 1,250 to 1,500 PAs in the majors. Bird’s not even halfway to the low end of that estimate.
- Padres outfielders Travis Jankowski, Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes are “being intensely evaluated” by team officials as the last-place club looks toward next season, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It’s possible only one of those players will remain with the team in 2019, per Acee, though it’s worth noting the Padres don’t necessarily have to part with any of them. All three have minor league options remaining, after all. Notably, both Renfroe and Reyes – a pair of power hitters – have offered above-average offensive production this year.