On Saturday, the Cubs announced that they are placing starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks on the 10-day I.L.with right shoulder inflammation.
Following Hendricks' injury, the Cubs recalled right-handed pitcher Rowan Wick from Triple-A. Wick will be available on Saturday night and beyond, as the Cubs continue their four-game series against the Dodgers.
This obviously a significant blow for the Cubs, as Hendricks is the team leader in innings pitched (88.1).
Prior to his loss on Friday night, Hendricks had won three straight outings, giving up less than 3 ER in each game.
The Cubs have plenty of options to replace Hendricks for the time being. With an off day until Monday, they could keep their rotation intact. Tyler Chatwood and Mike Montgomery are options, and the Cubs could push Hendricks next start back to by going with a spot starter.
Said “not a sharp pain, more discomfort.”— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) June 15, 2019
Team discussing options for covering rotation spot, including Chatwood and/or using upcoming off days to go with 4 plus spot starter(s) as needed. https://t.co/oLjmiMglOM
Stellar pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay is another intriuging option, and he is coming off of a great outing with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. On Fridaym he racked up 9 strikeouts, giving up 8 hits and 2 ER.
The 24-year old Alzolay is ranked as the Cubs' fourth-overall prospect and the Hendricks injury could open the door for Alzolay to get called up.
Will be examined at home by team doc. If not serious natural timeline would be just before or after All-Star break. (3 weeks from now) https://t.co/Zb0bKxnvoz— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) June 15, 2019
The more likely scenario is that Cubs manager Joe Maddon chooses to use Chatwood.
Chatwood is the only pitcher outside of the everyday rotation to have made a start this year and is the most obvious stopgap solution until we get further updates on Hendricks' status.