Oh dear sweet baby baseball jeebus, may this be nothing more than a necessary bit of rest for a guy who, until last night, had been having the best stretch of his career.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 15, 2019
Kyle Hendricks did not have his best command last night, and his fastball velocity was slightly down (though not alarmingly so) from his previous starts. There was no indication immediately after the game that there was an injury concern, but perhaps he woke up with shoulder soreness. Shoulders are scary. I presume we’ll find out soon if he’s going to get an MRI, or if everyone is confident that it’s a mild situation.
I’m trying not to panic right now, as obviously a healthy Hendricks is exceedingly important to the Cubs. I’m hoping that it is not serious, but the Cubs were ready to give him a break, and by IL’ing him for 10 days immediately after his start, he can simply miss one start and then get right back in the rotation with some rest. I know, I know. I’m being overly optimistic.
It’ll be interesting if the Cubs use the timing as an opportunity to get top pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay his first big league start. He’s already on the 40-man roster, is dominating at AAA, and he also just happened to start last night. We’ll see if he gets a look or if Mike Montgomery and/or Tyler Chatwood simply fill in.
If the Cubs instead prefer to just skip Hendricks’ start, they could theoretically do that, because their next off-day comes on the fifth day after last night. I tend to hope for Alzolay to just get a shot on the normal schedule, but we’ll see.
As for the roster spot right now, it’s reliever Rowan Wick coming up to rejoin the bullpen. The 26-year-old converted position player has been brilliant at AAA, and is believed by the Cubs to be a future bullpen staple. So at least he gets another look.
Deep breaths. DEEEEEEP breaths.
Kyle Hendricks doesn’t sound too concerned, but he didn’t feel right last night at Dodger Stadium and the Cubs want him to rest his right shoulder: “If it was a different point in the year, we could do different things, but it just makes sense to take the time now.”
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) June 15, 2019
Hendricks said doesn’t think injury serious. Didn’t happen on one pitch. More of a buildup, first felt playing catch in recent days, then worsened during start Friday. “Just didn’t feel right.”
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) June 15, 2019