Cubs Activate Kyle Hendricks, Option José Cuas to AAA

The good news is that the Cubs get a member of the starting rotation back today. The bad news is that Kyle Hendricks has pitched to a 12.00 ERA over just 21 innings across his five starts so far. The other bad news is that Jameson Taillon was scratched from his scheduled start on Friday and will be out for a couple more days yet as he works through back stiffness that popped up in a recent bullpen.

“I definitely think I could pitch,” Taillon told reporters in Pittsburgh, “but it’s the right thing to do.”

Craig Counsell had initially planned to have Hendricks make another rehab start with Triple-A Iowa, but being cautious with Taillon and having Ben Brown throw nearly four innings on Friday changed the calculus. To make matters worse, Justin Steele lasted only four innings and the bullpen lost an arm to make room for Hendricks.

José Cuas was optioned back to Triple-A Iowa a day after coming up and throwing two scoreless innings with two strikeouts, one walk, and one hit allowed. With Brown presumably limited to an inning if he’s available at all, the number of reliable options isn’t what Counsell would like. Not that Cuas was necessarily seen as reliable, but it’s gotten to the point where just having another warm body out there is a good thing.

The Cubs have their rubber match with the Pirates on Sunday afternoon, then they head to Atlanta for three with the Braves before turning around and facing both teams at Wrigley. It’s a good thing their hitters are getting back because they may need all the runs they can get.

See below for the press release…

The Chicago Cubs today activated right-handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks from the 15-day injured list and optioned right-handed pitcher José Cuas to Triple-A Iowa.

Hendricks, 34, landed on the injured list April 22 with a low back strain. He made two rehab starts, one with Double-A Tennessee (2 ER/5.0 IP) and one with the I-Cubs (1 ER/4.1 IP). In five starts with Chicago this season prior to being placed on the I.L., went 0-3 with a 12.00 ERA (28 ER/21.0 IP). In 252 career major league games (251 starts) with the Cubs, is 93-72 with a 3.60 ERA (589 ER/1,470.2 IP).

Cuas, 29, pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in relief yesterday after being recalled prior to the game. In six games with Chicago this season, has posted a 9.00 ERA (8 ER/8.0 IP).

The Cubs play the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park today at 12:35 p.m. CT in a game that can be seen on Marquee Sports Network and heard on 670 The Score.

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