Thursday, May 9, 2024

Kyle Hendricks is Literally Having the Worst Start to a Season in Cubs HISTORY


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Kyle Hendricks has been the worst starting pitcher in MLB this season and after Tuesday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Hendricks is now off the worst start to a season in Chicago Cubs history.

The Cubs lost 12-11 in 10 innings last night and they were fortunate to be in a position to win thanks to the offense coming alive and bailing out Hendricks. The veteran righty only tossed 4.1 innings and left the bullpen with a mess, as Hendricks walked back-to-back hitters to load the bases in the fifth inning. All three runners scored after Luke Little had a terrible performance and Hendricks was charged with seven earned runs.

Hendricks has now allowed 24 earned runs in 17 innings, which comes out to a 12.71 ERA through four starts. The 2016 World Series champion got into the record books after Tuesday’s start, but in the worst possible way. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Hendricks is the first Cubs pitcher to allow five or more earned runs in each of his first four starts since the earned run became an official stat in 1913.

Everything is brutal. Hendricks only has 11 strikeouts to 7 walks and he’s surrendered 31 hits. In 2023, Hendricks gave up 13 home runs in 137 innings. Through four starts this season, Hendricks has already given up 7 home runs in 17 innings.

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It’s one thing if Hendricks was out there getting squeezed by umpires or if guys were getting crazy BABIP luck and racking up bloop hit after bloop hit, but Hendricks is getting crushed. He doesn’t have his change up working, no confidence in the curve ball, the command is awful and I’m not talking about walks, Hendricks cannot hit his spots with the sinker, and when he’s throwing 88mph it’s trouble when his pitches leak out to the middle of the plate.

This is what keeps happening.

Tried to go up and in on Joc Pederson, but Hendricks could not execute the location and instead it was an 88mph meatball up and down the middle.

Jameson Taillon is coming back from the injured list to make his season debut on Thursday against the Miami Marlins. Javier Assad originally made the rotation to fill in for Taillon and he’s been as steady as ever, posting a 2.16 ERA in three starts. Assad has been the only Cubs starting pitcher to get into the sixth inning in all of his starts.

Meanwhile, rookie Ben Brown was called up after the Cubs lost Justin Steele on Opening Day and the young righty has literally had one bad inning in the majors so far. After making his MLB debut against the Texas Rangers in relief on March 30, Brown has made three starts and has only allowed two earned runs in 14.2 innings, striking out 14, walking 4 and allowing just 7 hits.

I don’t know what the Cubs do with Hendricks, but this can’t continue. It just can’t.

One of the main reasons the bullpen has been a dumpster fire through the first three weeks of the season is because it’s been overworked. It’s not just Hendricks failing to go beyond five innings, but he’s by far the worst pitcher on the roster right now AND he’s not giving the team innings.

Maybe you move him to the bullpen and he has more time to work things out. Maybe you can piggyback him after a Ben Brown start, but I don’t know how it’s beneficial for the Cubs to continue starting Hendricks when the options available have been better…a lot better.

Does Hendricks swallow his pride and accept a minor league assignment? Man, this sucks.

The reality though is that the Cubs picked up Hendricks’ player option for this season. He’s making $16.5 million in 2024 and it seems like the team is willing to see Hendricks work through his struggles.

You can argue whether or not Hendricks has earned the right to work through it, but right now the only opinion that matters is the one coming from the Cubs and for now fans will just have to hope it does get better.

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