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MLB Notes: Yu Darvish Returns to the Injured List for the 2nd Time in 2024

Along with Darvish, Japanese MLB pitchers Kodai Senga and Shintaro Fujinami of the Mets and Red Sox slugger Masataka Yoshida are also sidelined with injuries.

For the second time in the 2024 MLB season, San Diego Padres pitcher Yu Darvish is on the injured list (IL).

Darvish was placed on the 15-day injured list on Saturday, June 1 with a strained left groin. The 37-year-old right-hander had two shaky starts after stringing together four outings in which he did not allow a run in 24 innings.

He left his start on May 29 after three innings due to what was described as "left hamstring tightness" by The San Diego Union-Tribune. Darvish (4-3) allowed six hits and three runs (two earned) in a 9-1 loss to the visiting Miami Marlins.

MLB
Padres hurler Yu Darvish pitches to a New York Yankees batter on May 24. (KYODO)

On May 24, Darvish allowed nine hits and seven runs, including four home runs, in 5⅔ innings against the New York Yankees. San Diego fell 8-0 at home.

Darvish was placed on the 15-day IL with neck tightness on April 17, then returned and had a quartet of excellent starts before getting shelled by the Yankees.

Boston Red Sox slugger Masataka Yoshida in a July 2023 file photo. (©SANKEI)

Injury Updates on Other Japanese MLB Players

Boston Red Sox outfielder/designated hitter Masataka Yoshida (thumb) is slated to return to the team on June 11 after a rehab assignment in the minor leagues, according to published reports.

Yoshida sustained the injury when he "jammed his hand" while batting against the San Francisco Giants on April 28, ESPN reported. Since then, he hasn't played in an MLB game.

He is batting .275 with two homers and 11 RBIs this season.

Boston manager Alex Cora expressed optimism when speaking to reporters about the possibility of Yoshida beginning a rehab assignment around Thursday, June 6. "Hopefully, hopefully," Cora said, Red Sox beat writer Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reported on X.

Meanwhile, New York Mets pitchers Kodai Senga and Shintaro Fujinami are both sidelined with shoulder injuries. Neither right-hander has thrown a pitch in a 2024 MLB game.

Senga, who is currently on the 60-day IL, does not have a target date yet to return to the Mets, manager Carlos Mendoza told reporters on Saturday, June 1. Instead, SportsNet New York reported, Senga will "continue playing light catch over the next few days."

In 2023, his first MLB season, Senga went 12-7 with a 2.98 ERA with 202 strikeouts in 166⅓ innings.

After his superb second half of the 2023 season, there was abundant optimism within the Mets organization that Senga would be a premier pitcher in 2024. But even before the official start of spring training, Senga was dealing with an injury setback. He was diagnosed with a capsule strain in his right shoulder on February 15.

MLB
New York Mets injured starting pitcher Kodai Senga throws a softball in the outfield before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on June 1. Brad Penner/USA TODAY SPORTS)

Senga Describes the Ups and Down of his Injury Comeback

A former Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks star, Senga had nerve inflammation in his right elbow in late May, an MRI revealed.

"When your muscles are not moving the way they're supposed to, then a lot of different things could get inflamed and it happened to be the nerve this time," Senga said, according to The Associated Press.

As he continues his comeback, the 31-year-old Senga believes he needs to be in peak condition to be ready to return to a pitching role with the Mets.

"In order to get back to 100 percent, you have to hit each benchmark," Senga was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. "It's not one specific thing that caused everything. But just moving forward, I think I have to look forward and bang out each thing that I need to do in order to move on to the next step and ultimately get back on to the mound."

MLB
New York Mets pitcher Shintaro Fujinami in a March 2024 file photo. (KYODO)

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Update on Veteran Pitcher Fujinami

Fujinami, sidelined with a right shoulder strain, began the 2024 season in the minor leagues with the Triple-A Syracuse Mets. He's appeared in nine games and has a  0-0 record with one hold and a 14.09 ERA in 7⅔ innings for Syracuse, making his most recent appearance on May 3.

On May 13, Fujinami was placed on the 15-day injured list. MLB.com reporter Anthony DiComo said in late May that Fujinami is expected to be sidelined for up to eight more weeks.

He pitched for the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles in 2023.

MLB
Chicago Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki hits a second-inning grand slam against the Cincinnati Reds on June 1 at Wrigley Field. (USA TODAY/REUTERS/via KYODO)

For Suzuki, a Home Run to Remember

Chicago Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki bashed a triple in the first inning and later his first MLB grand slam in a 7-5 triumph over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, June 1.

In the second inning, Suzuki misplayed a Luke Maile flyball in right field with the bases loaded, leading to all three runners scoring. The ball ricocheted off his glove. Moments later, another run scored, and the Cubs trailed 4-0.

Suzuki atoned for the error in the same inning, belting a two-out grand slam off Hunter Greene over the left-field fence at Wrigley Field.

Cubs manager Craig Counsell was pleased to see Suzuki put the disappointment of the error behind him and make a big impact on offense after that.

"You're going to be down after that happens and he went and he had a great at-bat in a huge spot," Counsell said, according to The Associated Press. "And with one swing of the bat, the game's back to even. So credit to Seiya for staying in it, because you feel awful when you do that."

A Play That Drove Suzuki's Emotions

Suzuki described the big error as an emotional catalyst for him the rest of the MLB game.

"To be honest with you, when I reflect on my at-bats today, I can't really tell you how I'm feeling," Suzuki said, according to The Associated Press.

"It was more of that play in the second inning, that play in right field, that kind of drove my emotions throughout the whole [game]. [And] it was a play that I should have made, and it did have some toll on the team."

Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 10 games the next day before going 0-for-4 against the White Sox on Tuesday, June 4. He's batting .257 with six homers and 23 RBIs.

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Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven.

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