Joe Maddon isn't buying the criticism of Yu Darvish during his extended absence from the mound. 

By Michael Shapiro
July 30, 2018

2018 was supposed to provide a fresh start for Cubs' pitcher Yu Darvish, who signed a six-year, $126 million deal with Chicago in the offseason following a pair of losses with the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series. But this season has been anything but for the right-hander. The Japanese star has been sidelined since May 20 with an elbow injury.

Darvish has received a fair amount of criticism for his absence but the most notable comments came from from Alex Rodriguez on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball broadcast. Rodriguez took issue with Darvish's presence in the Chicago clubhouse as he rehabs from injury.

"It has been a very sobering year with the debacle of the Yu Darvish who has been devastating," Rodriguez said on ESPN during Cubs vs. Cardinals. "This is an issue that if you're Cubs nation you have to watch the Yu Darvish development, because it's not good inside that clubhouse right now."

Watch Rodriguez' full comments below.

Rodgriguez' comments were harshly received by Cubs fans, but the controversy was quickly quelled by Chicago manager Joe Maddon postgame. 

“I totally disagree with that,” Maddon said. “Everyone knows what’s going on. We know there is an injury there. We support his recovery. Everybody in there knows and everyone in the coaches’ room knows also, throughout the organization."

Darvish has made eight starts in 2018 and is sporting a 1-3 record with a 4.95 ERA on the season. 

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