puppies holder Kyle Hendricks he has yet to begin to recover from a midseason capsular tear in his shoulder, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports. While his delayed recovery is enough to cause some concern, Wittenmyer says there’s no reason yet to think Hendricks won’t be ready for spring training. Hendricks was originally supposed to resume his game at the end of the season, but the plan now is to start that in November.
Hendricks posted a 4.80 ERA in 16 starts this season before getting injured. Hendricks’ HardHit% soared in 2022, sitting at 38.8%, well above his second-highest mark of 33%, which occurred last season. Unsurprisingly, that translated into a higher home run rate, and Hendricks allowed almost one per start this season. It’s the second straight season it’s been that way, as Hendricks suffered a surge in home runs en route to a 4.77 ERA in 32 starts in 2021. Prior to that, Hendricks was an incredibly reliable arm for the Cubs, regularly hitting 30 openings. and post ERAs in all three mid to low.
While Hendricks has seen some decline in recent years, he remains a much-needed workhorse for the Cubs’ rotation. they will have veteran marcus stroman next year, as well as the impressive justin steel. Beyond that, Keegan Thompson, Adrian Samson Y Hayden Wesneski all showed varying degrees of promise to suggest they’ll appear in the rotation next season, but none can be reasonably scored to make 30 starts. Steele isn’t sure about the workload either, having pitched a career-high 119 innings in 2022, though the promise he showed by pitching with a 3.18 ERA with the peripherals to match suggests the Cubs will certainly look get big tickets from him.
The uncertainty over Hendricks’ immediate future could further motivate the Cubs to be active in the starting pitching market this winter. A competitive Cubs team in 2023 probably already needed an arm or two in the rotation, and if Hendricks’ recovery is delayed any longer, that need will only increase. Hendricks is owed $14 million in 2023 and he has a $16 million team option for 2024 with a $1.5 million buyout.