The Chicago Cubs are starting a nine-game home stand on Tuesday, when they kick off a three-game series against the New York Mets. The series opener was going to feature right-handed starter Kodai Senga, but he has been pushed back to Wednesday. So, the Cubs bats should get a break Tuesday night, as Tylor Megill will now make the start instead.
While Megill has recorded a solid 3.88 ERA in 46.1 innings, he does not strike out hitters as much as Senga, who is averaging more than 11 strikeouts per nine innings, compared to Megill’s 6.80 K/9.
The Cubs starting lineup finally has Christopher Morel batting in the middle of the order. So far in 11 games, Morel has recorded at least one hit and has scored at least one run, while crushing eight home runs and three doubles.
Morel is batting fifth, behind Nico Hoerner, Dansby Swanson, Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki. Meanwhile, recently called up outfielder Mike Tauchman is getting another start in center field. Tauchman pinch hit in the first two games against the Philadelphia Phillies this past weekend, before his first start on Sunday. The left-handed hitter went 0-for-2, but reached base two times via walks.
Left-handed starter Drew Smyly will look to continue his great month of May. In his previous four starts this month, Smyly has posted a 2.42 ERA in 22.1 innings, allowing a total of six earned runs. The veteran lefty has recorded three quality starts in May.
And another fun tidbit, Smyly is six innings away from reaching 1,000 MLB innings in his career.
Cody Bellinger Injury Update
The Cubs have been without starting center fielder Cody Bellinger since last Monday night, when he tweaked his knee after making a leaping catch at the wall in right-center field against the Houston Astros. The team, as we have become accustomed to seeing, wasn’t exactly upfront with its initial update on Bellinger. It’s fine, competitive advantage, that’s fine. But a few days after David Ross said Bellinger could be used off the bench, the Cubs placed the left-handed hitting outfielder on the injured list.
The latest update on Bellinger is a little mixed. At first, reporters were told that Bellinger was still resting his knee and was not doing any baseball activities today.
However, that was later updated to this.
Bellinger was placed on the 10-day injured list with a knee contusion that was retroactive to May 16. So, he is eligible to return later this week, when the Cubs play the Cincinnati Reds Rays at Wrigley Field.
Kyle Hendricks Return
The Cubs will activate right-handed starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks this week and he will most likely start Friday against the Reds.
Hendricks last started for the Cubs on July 5, 2022, against the Milwaukee Brewers.
After not pitching in a game in nearly 10 months, Hendricks began his rehab assignment in late April with the Iowa Cubs at Triple-A. His first two starts were rough, but what was essentially his spring training, Hendricks eventually looked like the good version of himself in his last three outings. The veteran righty allowed a total of three earned runs in his final 16 innings at Triple-A.