MESA, Ariz. — It was only a meaningless spring-teaching recreation, his 1st outing of the spring Tuesday, but for Chicago Cubs starter Yu Darvish, it meant all the things.

“I was really excited,’’ Darvish reported in English. “Before, I would truly feel like this was a apply recreation. These days, it was like this was the 1st outing in my everyday living. I have not thrown in the past 7 months. I was so excited.’’

Darvish, who signed a six-calendar year, $126 million totally free-agent deal past winter, was limited to only eight starts simply because of a worry response to his elbow and a biceps strain. He expended the season staying vilified, pitching only 40 innings and winning one recreation.

Oh, it was hardly vintage Darvish on Tuesday. He walked four of the eight batters he faced, and induced only one swing-and-skip in the 37 pitches he threw, with only 17 strikes. He could not command his breaking pitches.

Yet he was routinely hitting 94 mph to 96 mph on the radar gun, pronounced himself healthy and pain-free and could not prevent smiling.

“I truly feel like I’m smiling a lot more than I have in the past 7 yrs,” Darvish reported.

Just simply because he’s healthy?

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“Healthy,’’ he reported, “and I learned a lot of factors from past calendar year.’’

When questioned to elaborate, he did not be reluctant.

“Before, I get worried about the future,’’ he reported. “I feared the future. Now, I am dwelling now. That tends to make me a lot more assured, and I truly feel a lot more happy.’’

Definitely, he feels much a lot more acclimated with his teammates and corporation than a calendar year back. He has even deserted his interpreter and speaks nearly flawless English for the duration of interviews.

“The interpreter is high-priced,’’ Darvish reported, drawing loud laughter from the reporters encompassing him. “Good for me, much too, I have a great expertise with you men and I can use a lot more English.’’

Now, he have to start out winning, and make it fantastic for the Cubs corporation and passionate fanbase, much too. Supervisor Joe Maddon and his teammates feel it’s basically a subject of time.

“He appears to be like himself now,’’ reported Cubs infielder David Bote, who took batting apply for the 1st time due to the fact staying beaned Sunday by San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. “What I read, he’s these a happy man, but you did not see it past calendar year simply because of the injuries. He was extremely really hard on himself.

“I see the pleasure again in Yu’s facial area, and that is fantastic to see. I imagine we’ll see a fantastic Yu Darvish this calendar year.’’

States Maddon: “He appears to be much a lot more comfortable, surely into the movement of factors a lot a lot more quickly this calendar year. You can see the self confidence.

“We’re all eager to check out this.’’

5 a lot more weeks continue to be in spring teaching, with all eyes on him for each start out he tends to make.

Then comes the actual take a look at — the common season — and the Cubs will study irrespective of whether that self confidence and comfort level stay strong or instantly wane.

Darvish believes he’ll be again, greater than ever.

“I’m completely ready,’’ he reported, “to enjoy for this staff.’’

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