Darvish has a “stress reaction” in his elbow. Pre cursor to a fracture. Ligament is fine. Theo says it’s a tough one to diagnosis. Alec Mills had it last year. Took time to diagnose then.— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 21, 2018
The good news there is there's no ligament damage in the elbow (avoiding a Tommy John surgery situation) and it's not a full-on fracture, which would have meant a lot more time before Darvish is ready to start throwing again. The Cubs have said he's out at least six weeks, so he's done for the season.
Speaking of this season, it's been a disaster of a debut season with the Cubs for Darvish. In just eight starts, he pitched to a 4.95 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. He came into the season with a career 3.42 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. His command just seemed off all season.
Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs this past offseason, so he's still got five years left to make it a good deal. He'll start next spring with a clean and hopefully healthy slate.
The Cubs' five rotation pitchers the rest of the way will be Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Mike Montgomery. Montgomery is on the DL right now, though, so it's possible Tyler Chatwood (unlikely, I'd guess), Duane Underwood or a bullpen game happens in that spot until Montgomery is back. Also, Drew Smyly is still on his way back from Tommy John surgery and is expected to be ready to join the team in September.