Kyle Hendricks Has Been Cleared to Start Rehabbing in Arizona

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Kyle Hendricks Has Been Cleared to Start Rehabbing in Arizona

Chicago Cubs

Good news on the Kyle Hendricks front, though I should note at the top that this doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing him back this year.

Hendricks, who’s been shut down since early July with a shoulder strain that just wouldn’t clear up, is finally going to be able to start throwing again:

In other words, Hendricks can start his rehab work, which will include a (probably very conservative) throwing program.

The Cubs are not going to push him and risk anything just so that he can make a few starts before the end of the season. THAT SAID, there is definitely non-zero value in him getting in those starts, if possible, because they’ll help inform how he proceeds in his offseason. It would be helpful, I suspect, for him to know that he’s fully healthy and pitchable by the time October arrives. Then he can go about a normal offseason with confidence, and a focus on being ready for 2023.

If that’s not going to be chronologically possible – you can do the math on the remaining weeks, and it’s pretty darn tight even if the rehab goes perfectly – then, as Mooney said, the focus is just to set him up for the best possible offseason.

Hendricks, 32, has posted a 4.80 ERA (4.83 FIP) over 84.1 innings (16 starts) this season.

It’s been easy to discard Hendricks before his time because of the struggles in 2021 and the injuries this year, but he still absolutely has the ability to contribute to the team in 2023, his final contracted year. No, the Cubs couldn’t count on it, and they certainly couldn’t pencil him into the front half of the rotation. But a veteran at the back? A slightly-below-average innings eater? Every team needs that, even competitive teams. And, if he’s fully healthy and makes some adjustments? It’s not like you can completely rule out the possibility of a mid-rotation bounce-back.

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Author: Brett Taylor

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