Kyle Hendricks Removed from Rotation, Thursday Will Be Bullpen Game

Kyle Hendricks would have been scheduled to pitch Thursday against the Braves, but Craig Counsell had not yet named a starter as of Tuesday afternoon. The manager clarified the situation prior to the series opener at Wrigley, saying Hendricks will pitch out of the bullpen for the time being and that the Cubs will go with a bullpen game for the finale.

Mired in the worst season of his career, Hendricks has a 10.57 ERA with a career-worst 7.3% walk rate and an absurd 31.3% home run per fly ball rate. As much as I hate to say it after all he’s done for the organization over the last decade, the dude just looks washed and I don’t know that any amount of time in the ‘pen dries him out.

At least in this limited situation, Hendricks can be deployed more strategically and won’t be counted on to provide much in terms of length. Perhaps shorter outings will allow him to empty the tank — not that we’re talking about much of a difference in velo or anything — and get his mind and mechanics right. On the other hand, we may be witnessing the end of Hendricks’ career.

Rather than pressing fast-forward on anything just yet, I’ll leave it at hoping he can bounce back at least enough to be a passable reliever for a while.

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