Padres’ Yu Darvish out for season due to elbow stress reaction: How it could affect 2024 rotation

San Diego Padres starter Yu Darvish will not pitch for the remainder of the 2023 season because he is suffering from a stress reaction in his olecranon, the bony point of the elbow, he said Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • San Diego placed the right-hander on the 15-day injured list with elbow inflammation in late August.
  • Darvish said he tried to resolve the problem, but after not progressing as hoped, he would rest for five to six weeks before being re-evaluated. Darvish underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery in September 2018 (while with the Chicago Cubs) after being diagnosed with a stress reaction in his elbow the previous month.
  • The five-time All-Star, 37, went 8-10 with a 4.56 ERA and 1.298 WHIP in 136 1/3 innings this season.

Athleticism instant analysis:

What is the prognosis for Darvish?

In August 2018, an MRI revealed a stress reaction in Darvish’s right elbow, and the pitcher was shut down for the remainder of what had already been an injury-plagued debut season for the Cubs. The following month, he underwent arthroscopic surgery. He bounced back in 2019 to pitch a full season for the Cubs.

Five years later, it’s too early to know if Darvish will need another surgery, although there are similarities around the discovery of another stress reaction. Darvish said footage taken after his Aug. 25 start in Milwaukee revealed a stress reaction in his elbow. He then received a cortisone injection to try to treat the inflammation and then began playing catch. But he recently experienced unusual irritation in his elbow, leading to the decision to call it quits.

Darvish will now rest for five to six weeks in hopes that this time off will allow the stress response to heal. -Linen

How could this affect the Padres rotation in 2024?

It’s also too early to know, but that adds even more uncertainty. Darvish has generally performed well since the start of 2019, but he’s 37 and is coming off his most eventful season since 2018. The Padres were certainly looking at a smoother start to his extension, which already feels like another contract questionable for a team with several of those.

Meanwhile, Joe Musgrove (shoulder capsule inflammation) is still playing catch but is unlikely to pitch again this season. It too could soon be closed. Perhaps this is for the best; the Padres have been all but eliminated from playoff contention and shoulder capsule injuries are of great concern.

If the Padres want to bounce back from a massive failure of a season, they’ll need Musgrove and Darvish both at nearly 100 percent by next spring — especially since Blake Snell and Michael Wacha could soon become free agents . (The Padres must decide whether to exercise a two-year, $32 million club option on Wacha.) -Linen


Darvish and the Padres agreed in February to a six-year, $108 million contract extension through 2028. He is in his third season with San Diego after being traded by the Cubs in December 2020.

Darvish posted a 3.10 ERA with 197 strikeouts in 194 2/3 innings pitched last season. He owns a career ERA of 3.59 over 1,624 1/2 innings pitched.

The Padres are 68-77 this season, 20 games out of the National League West and eight games out of a wild card berth.

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(Photo: Orlando Ramirez / USA Today)


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