As the Cubs deal with two positive cases of COVID-19 on the coaching staff (sounded pre-game like both are going to be OK), three relievers on the COVID IL (presumably close contacts), and another position player added to the COVID IL today, there’s another thing to worry about: Kyle Hendricks feels sick.
He’s been scratched tonight in a move the Cubs are dubbing an abundance-of-caution situation:
Kyle Hendricks is not feeling well, and out of an abundance of caution, we’ve decided to postpone his start.
Alec Mills will start tonight’s game.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 13, 2021
The thing about dropping the “abundance of caution” line is that it suggests Hendricks would be starting tonight if not for the pandemic/current situation on the Cubs. That winds up making me at least as worried as I would’ve been if they’d just scratched him for illness and said no more.
The impact to the game tonight is that the stretched-thin bullpen will be stretched even thinner, and you just have to hope you can get three decent innings from Mills. The much more important issue is whether Hendricks is sick, what the implications are there for further spread in the clubhouse, and so on and so on. As we have seen time and again with this virus, you can’t know for sure if you’re in the clear for a while. And in the meantime, concerns pop up.
Earlier, manager David Ross said this (before the news on Hendricks):
David Ross on players going on Covid list: “If you have a headache, if you have a runny nose, if you have body aches, if you have just about anything going on that would or could be one of the Covid symptoms we’re going to err on the side of caution.”
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) April 13, 2021
Hopefully the Cubs are just in a mode where they are super-duper cautious – which is good and fine! – and once we get a few days clear, with more negative tests, this can be nothing more than a scary situation that didn’t get much worse.