Chicago Cubs pitcher Darvish feels good, takes swipe at A-Rod
Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish was upbeat and smiling Saturday, stopping to sign autographs for fans after throwing 55 pitches in the bullpen.
Darvish has not pitched since May 20 because of tendinitis in his right triceps, and his rehab was interrupted once by elbow discomfort.
He revealed Saturday he switched treatment from the elbow to his spine as a preventive measure and that he's feeling optimistic about his recovery.
Darvish also revealed a bit of a wicked sense of humor when asked about ESPN analyst and former big-leaguer Alex Rodriguez, who said on the "Sunday Night Baseball" broadcast that Darvish's rehab was a distraction that could cause him to lose respect in the clubhouse.
Asked if he had heard from Rodriguez, Darvish said, through a translator: "If he sends me a text message or something, I'll keep it and maybe take a screen shot and then bring it out, frame it for a keepsake."
While smiling, Darvish added, in English: "I'm not joking."
But, seriously, Darvish said he was feeling better after throwing the bullpen session.
"Yes, definitely," he said. "Now that I'm pitching, I'm very optimistic about the process now."
Darvish said the back treatment began about 10 days ago and has led to a more "positive flow." The Cubs say there is nothing wrong with Darvish's back.
If Darvish is feeling OK over the next day, he could do another bullpen session or a simulated game. That would precede a minor-league rehab assignment. Darvish made a rehab start at Class A South Bend in late June, but the recovery process slowed after he reported feeling some elbow discomfort.
Going to bat for Bote:
Rookie infielder David Bote said Friday that the environment created by the Cubs in the clubhouse has allowed him to be himself. Bote has been a positive contributor in several big-league stints this year.
Manager Joe Maddon revealed Saturday that Bote got an endorsement in spring training.
"David Ross was around a little bit," Maddon said, referring to the former Cubs backup catcher. "Rossy came up to me and validated Bote. Just like conversationally, hanging out with him a little bit, he just walked in the office one day and wanted me to know how highly he thought of David Bote. And that doesn't happen all the time.
"Conversationally or among the group, David Bote revealed to David Ross that he kind of had what it takes to be a part of this group. Bote is definitely his own man, no question about it. You can converse with him. He's going to come back at you with a well-thought-out response.
"He's definitely not wide-eyed. I don't think peer pressure really matters in a bad way. He's not going to conform to somebody else's methods just because they come after him strongly because he's a strong person himself. I like all that about David."
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