When the Cubs put Kyle Hendricks on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right middle finger, the prevailing thought – hope? – was that he’d miss just one start, and that it was one of those “if he really had to pitch, he could pitch.”
Unfortunately, in a season full of things that haven’t played out as expected or hoped, things didn’t play out that way.
The reports on today’s throwing session for Hendricks:
Maddon says Hendricks' side didn't go well; not awful, but still feeling it in right hand. Will be reevaluated, perhaps more tests.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) June 13, 2017
Kyle Hendricks (tendinitis) won't come off the DL to pitch this weekend after testing his hand on Tuesday. Joe… https://t.co/b1PGSbc8XO
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) June 13, 2017
Setback for Kyle Hendricks, who still felt discomfort in his right hand during today's throw session and has been ruled out for PITT series.
— Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) June 13, 2017
There’s no clear timeline for Hendricks’ return, but if the Cubs are intent on waiting until Hendricks is entirely pain free, it could still be a little while.
Tendinitis issues can be tricky like that – most of us have it at one time or another, but because we’re not professional athletes, we just muddle through. That’s not really an option for a guy whose performance must be so fine tuned and precise to be successful (and for whom risk of further injury is important to consider). That is to say, even if Hendricks could pitch through the discomfort, he might not be able to pitch well right now.
For now, the upshot here is that Mike Montgomery figures to make at least one more start, and the Cubs will undoubtedly continue to search for pitching in the coming month and a half. Hopefully Hendricks is not going to miss significant time, but with John Lackey seriously struggling, Eddie Butler not yet showing consistent results, and Jake Arrieta also dealing with a hopefully minor physical issue, the Cubs are going to need to look to add a starter no matter what. This division remains oh so winnable, even for a struggling team like the Cubs.
If you’re feeling positive, you might take away from this the positives of (1) extra rest for Hendricks’ arm, which threw a lot of innings last year and will be needed fresh down the stretch; (2) opportunities for Montgomery to show what he could do as a starter, which the Cubs could need both this and next year; and (3) a little more urgency to be active on the trade market in the rotation. That last one is more for you, the fans, than for the front office, as I’m sure they aren’t especially interested in losing any leverage.