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Joe Maddon reacts to Alex Rodriguez’s criticism of Yu Darvish

Alex Rodriguez criticized Yu Darvish during the broadcast of the Chicago Cubs-St. Louis Cardinals game on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.” Cubs skipper Joe Maddon was quick to dismiss A-Rod’s critique following the team’s 5-2 win.

Darvish has been out since May 20 due to right triceps tendinitis and the timing of his return remains troublesomely unclear. Rodriguez questioned Darvish’s rehab approach during Sunday’s telecast.

“When you have a guy that signed an enormous contract and is sitting down and you walk in the training room and he’s got two trainers working on him … you should be in Arizona somewhere getting treated,” Rodriguez said of Darvish, per Joe Ostrowski of Chicago’s The Score 670. “Don’t get in the way…”

Maddon took issue with Rodriguez’s observations upon learning of them after the game.

“I totally disagree with that. Everybody knows what’s going on,” Maddon said, per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. We know that there is an injury in there. We support his recovery. Everybody in there does … It’s unfortunate that it was relayed that way, but that’s not true”

Darvish, after a rehab start in late June for the South Bend Cubs, was ultimately shut down again after experiencing “pain” during a bullpen session a few days later.

Darvish then traveled to Texas to be examined by his longtime orthopedist. The pitcher received a shot of cortisone after an elbow impingement was diagnosed. Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey indicated earlier this month that Darvish remains “a number of weeks” away. A bullpen session last week conducted by Darvish “went well,” according to Maddon, however.

The Cubs obviously were expecting a lot more out of Darvish when signing him to a six-year, $126 million deal ahead of spring training. That does not mean Maddon and the team will allow the pitcher to be criticized without having his back.