No, Yu Darvish is not injured. Like most players, he did battle injuries throughout the 2012 season. However, Darvish's decision to skip the World Baseball Classic is more about staying healthy than recovering from an injury. The Texas Rangers star was originally going to pitch for Japan in the WBC, but he announced yesterday that he would not do so.
Here is the statement released by Darvish's agent on the issue:
After much deliberation, which has included a lot of consultation with my coaches and trainers, I have decided that I will not play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. This was a very difficult decision for me as it is always a tremendous honor to represent my native country of Japan. I greatly enjoyed being a part of the 2009 Championship ballclub and I will be supporting this year's team as they look to defend their title. There are many very talented players in Japan and I am confident this team will uphold Japan's great tradition in this event.
According to Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Darvish wants to get as much rest as possible leading up to next season. He has not had a rookie season like most pitchers. Darvish was used to heavy workloads while pitching in Japan, so he was not on a strict innings limits. He would like to make sure he is ready for next season.
Darvish, in his rookie year, went 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA. It was quite the performance considering the ballpark in which he pitched and the league in which he pitched. The Ballpark at Arlington is a hitter's park and the American League is a hitter's league. The 26-year old will look to improve on his 2012 season. His choice to skip the WBC is directly related to ensuring he is as healthy as possible for 2013.