Kyle Hendricks has not pitched in a major league game in almost 11 months. And, truth be told, most of his outings in 2021 and 2022 weren’t good. After being one of the better pitchers in the league for seven years from 2014-20 (3.12 ERA, 1.105 WHIP, 21.4 bWAR), he was just bad for most of those two years.
Diagnosed with a shoulder ailment, Hendricks opted for rest and rehab rather than surgery. It was a long process, and when he began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Iowa he had two rough outings. But over his last three: 1.69 ERA, 0.938 WHIP, just two walks in 16 innings.
And thus he’s been deemed ready to return, and as such the Cubs activated Hendricks today from the 15-day injured list and he’ll start tonight’s game against the Mets.
To make room for Hendricks on the 26-man active roster, Nick Madrigal was optioned to Iowa. This is a bit of a surprise, but it will give Madrigal regular playing time.
Madrigal is batting .247/.286./301 in 34 games this season with the Cubs. This returns the Cubs to a roster with 13 pitchers and 13 position players.
With Hendricks going today, Justin Steele will likely start on regular rest in Friday’s game against the Reds. Jameson Taillon, who had originally been scheduled to start Thursday, has been pushed back to Saturday. That would leave Drew Smyly, on regular rest, to start Sunday’s game.
As always, we await developments. Today’s game preview will post at 4:30 p.m. CT.