Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish plans to no longer use an interpreter and will conduct his interviews in English for the 2019 season, according to ESPN.
Darvish told reporters on Tuesday that he wants to give all his interviews in English going forward in order to learn the language better. Previously, Darvish had always spoken to the media with the assistance of an interpreter.
When asked about his decision, Darvish joked with reporters that the "interpreter is expensive for the organization." He then explained that he felt it was important for the media to "understand what I'm thinking from my mouth and not with an interpreter. That means a lot for me," per MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
Cubs president Theo Epstein said he supports Darvish's decision.
"It's an attempt to make a more genuine connection and is very much in keeping with how open, genuine and eager Yu has been with everyone this spring training. I think not using an interpreter is a brave thing to do. I'm not sure I'd be able to do it," Epstein said.
Darvish said his rehab from elbow surgery was progressing well. On Tuesday afternoon, he struggled with his command against the Diamondbacks, throwing just 17 strikes in 36 pitches with four walks in 1 1/3 innings. He missed much of 2018 with an elbow injury after signing a six-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs in the previous offseason.