After watching one of Yu Darvish’s pitches during a batting-practice session Tuesday, Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber merely said, “Oh, God.” “Insane,” Willson Contreras added after catching Darvish’s first bullpen session and then following Schwarber in the cage. Manager Joe Maddon tried to provide perspective as he looked at his watch and reminded everyone the start of the regular season is still more than five weeks away. But even he marveled at Darvish’s sharpness after the right-hander joined the Cubs only last week with the expectation he will help them return to the World Series for the second time in three seasons. “I know it’s early,” Maddon said. “I’m certain his adrenaline was flowing a bit right there, but he threw the ball with great conviction. But as a purist, I looked at the delivery. The ball was reacting at home plate, and it was outstanding.” Even more encouraging to Maddon and the players has been the seamless manner in which Darvish has adjusted to his new surroundings. “Everyone here is very friendly,” Darvish said after finishing his running. “I was able to work out successfully, and it seems (as if) I fit in naturally (with) this team.” Darvish has felt comfortable enough to joke about getting accustomed to new pitching coach Jim Hickey.
Yu Darvish makes quick favorable impression on new Cubs teammates
Chicago Tribune | Feb 21