SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — I had intended to head to Mesa Tuesday afternoon. The Cubs big-league squad has the day off, but Kyle Hendricks was scheduled to throw in a minor-league game against Angels farmhands.
That is, until this happened:
Kyle Hendricks scratched from today's minor league game start due to strep throat. will play catch, perhaps throw bullpen.— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) March 20, 2018
This shouldn’t be serious:
No Minor League game today for #Cubs Hendricks because of strep throat. He'll be ready for the regular season— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 20, 2018
And that leads me into this: The shuffling of a couple of starters over the weekend with the split-squad games lines everyone up perfectly for Opening Day.
The remaining starters for Cactus League games should be as follows:
Wednesday: Yu Darvish vs. Rangers at Surprise
Thursday: Jose Quintana vs. Giants at Scottsdale
Friday: Tyler Chatwood vs. Brewers at Sloan Park
Saturday: Jon Lester vs. Rockies at Sloan Park
Sunday: Hendricks vs. Royals at Surprise (presuming he’s healthy)
There’s also a split-squad game Saturday, against the Mariners at Peoria. I’d guess Mike Montgomery or Eddie Butler will get the start in that one.
Then, the Cubs head to Florida for two games against the Red Sox.
That would leave Chatwood to put some innings in on the side on the Cubs off day a week from tomorrow, and Lester on schedule to start Opening Day in Miami a week from Thursday.
This Cubs rotation has the chance to be the best in many years, even better than the 2016 rotation, which set all kinds of records.
We are just nine days from Opening Day!