Despite dealing with some kind of physical issue, Yu Darvish stayed in the Rangers rotation down the stretch this season. Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News hears it "appeared to be sciatica" from a source.
Manager Ron Washington acknowledged Darvish "had something" but declined to elaborate. “I don't think I can even get into that. I'll let you all talk to people above me and the medical staff. But I can say this: He never said it was an issue," added the skipper.
The Internet tells me sciatica is actually a set of symptoms and not the root cause of the problem. It's the runny nose, not the cold. Anyway, sciatica is caused by irritation of spinal nerves and results in pain in the lower back, buttocks, and down into the legs and feet. Something that would make it hard to pitch, basically.
Darvish, 27, went 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA (145 ERA+) and an MLB-best 277 strikeouts this season. He did struggle a bit in his final three starts through, putting 25 men on base in 16 innings. He failed to complete six innings of work in all three starts.
Sciatica can be treated in a number of different ways -- medication, surgery, etc. -- and it's unclear if this is something that can carry over into next season or be a long-term issue.