Joe Maddon Expects Kyle Hendricks Back, John Lackey to Stay in Rotation

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Joe Maddon Expects Kyle Hendricks Back, John Lackey to Stay in Rotation

Chicago Cubs News

Largely confirming what we were already guessing, Joe Maddon dropped a couple bits about the Chicago Cubs’ rotation on 670 The Score today.

First, following his perfect five-inning outing last night with the Tennessee Smokies, Kyle Hendricks is expected to be back with the big league team:

Great news there. If Hendricks is Hendricks – not necessarily 2016 Cy Young Finalist Hendricks, but even if he’s just 2014-15 Really Solid Starter Hendricks – the Cubs’ rotation will suddenly look leaps and bounds better than it did just a week ago (thanks also to the addition of Jose Quintana).

Whose spot does Hendricks take in the rotation? Well, the expectation here is still that it will be Mike Montgomery’s (unless the Cubs go with six starters for a while). And if that’s the case, then John Lackey will stay in the rotation for the time being.

Sure enough, it sounds like that’s where Joe Maddon is, too:

My gut says no one really wants it to get to that point with Lackey, who has made exactly one relief appearance in his career … 13 years ago. I tend to think it’s more likely that Lackey will either turn things around in the second half, or the Cubs will give him some runway, see that the stuff, velocity, and command declines have made him too hittable at this point, and they will simply move on.

Here’s hoping Lackey simply gets “it” back for the stretch run, and these considerations move into the rearview.

Of course, it’s also still possible that the Cubs add another arm to the rotation in the next two weeks – unlikely, yes, but still possible – which would turn all of this on its head.


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.