The Cubs are unsure if injured right-hander Yu Darvish will return before next month’s All-Star break, manager Joe Maddon told Patrick Mooney of The Athletic and other reporters Sunday. Darvish has been on the shelf for two weeks with right tricep tendinitis, and even though he doesn’t have any structural damage, he’ll end up sitting out nearly two months (if not even more time) if he doesn’t come back prior to the July 17 All-Star Game. Of course, in an ideal world for Darvish and the Cubs, he’d be representing the team in the Midsummer Classic after landing a six-year, $126MM guarantee in free agency over the winter. Instead, not only has Darvish endured multiple DL stints (one for the flu), but the 31-year-old has posted a career-worst 4.95 ERA/4.80 FIP over 40 innings when he has taken the mound.
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- The Pirates activated righty Ivan Nova from the disabled list and optioned fellow righty Nick Kingham to Triple-A prior to Sunday’s game. Nova returned after a finger injury shelved him for two weeks. His presence is unfortunate for Kingham, who continued his strong rookie season Saturday with 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball in a loss to the Cubs. Overall, the 26-year-old Kingham has pitched to a 3.82 ERA with 35 strikeouts against seven walks in 35 1/3 innings (six starts).
- Additionally, the Pirates optioned utility player Adam Frazier to make room for the addition of catcher Jacob Stallings from Triple-A. It’s a somewhat surprising demotion for Frazier, who offered league-average offensive production (.283/.347/.402) over 614 plate appearances from 2016-17 while seeing action at several positions. Frazier’s defensive versatility has continued this year, as he has lined up at second base and all three outfield spots, but his batting line has fallen to .237/.318/.356 in 152 PAs.
- More on the Pirates, who promoted veteran infielder Jung Ho Kang from Single-A to Triple-A on Sunday, Liz Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. It’s an important development for Kang, who was a quality regular with the Bucs from 2015-16 but hasn’t played in the majors since then because of off-field problems. Kang racked up his his third DUI in his homeland of South Korea during the 2016-17 offseason, and he’s still on the restricted list as a result. Unsurprisingly, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said in April that Kang is likely down to “his last chance with us.”
- The Marlins have removed Stan Meek as their vice president of scouting, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Meek was a confidant of previous owner Jeffrey Loria, having worked under him in Montreal before following him to Florida in 2002. The Marlins’ Meek-led drafts were “disastrous” in recent years, Passan observes, though Jon Heyman of FanRag points out that he did have some hits during his tenure in Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto. Given that Meek is signed through next season, he could stay in the organization in a different role, Heyman writes.