Monday, June 17, 2024

Kyle Hendricks Should Not Start for the Cubs Again


Thank you for memories, but Kyle Hendricks should not start for the Cubs again and honestly he’s not deserving of a roster spot on this pitching staff either at this point. It sucks, it really does. This is a World Series hero, the man who started two of the most important games in franchise history, but it’s not 2016 anymore and Hendricks continues to put up awful results.

I’ll be the first guy to defend a pitcher who gives up a handful of soft hits during a game and point out that he just had some bad luck leading to runs. However, that argument kind of loses its steam when a pitcher loses his ability to miss bats, has to be perfect to be effective and hitters make contact on almost every pitch in the strike zone.

It’s been an unfortunate development for Hendricks, but it was the same old story Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs starter allowed 11 hits and 7 earned runs in 4.2 innings. Hendricks now has a 10.57 ERA in seven starts this year.

Maybe you had some optimism that Hendricks was turning the corner following his last start in Pittsburgh last Sunday, but when you take a step back and dig into the numbers that wasn’t much of an accomplishment either. Heading into Friday’s game, the Pirates offense ranked dead last in MLB when facing right-handed pitching, only slashing .214/.292/.323, which comes out to a 76 wRC+ and .615 OPS.

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So, Hendricks was set up to pitch well against the Pirates at Wrigley Field and instead he gave up 7 earned runs for the third time this season and a season high 11 hits.

The two-run homer in the third inning by Jared Triolo is a perfect example of why Hendricks is washed now. He was trying to throw a change up outside, but he couldn’t execute and instead it was on a tee for the Pirates hitter.

And that’s what keeps happening for Hendricks. It may not always result in a home run, although he’s now surrendered 10 long balls in 30.2 innings, but even when Hendricks misses by a little bit the other team is making contact and finding outfield grass. It happened Friday and it’s been happening all season.

Hendricks’ stuff is simply not good anymore. He can’t fool hitters. He’s walking more guys, making more mistakes and throwing more hittable pitches. There’s just no way Hendricks should start again for the Cubs and if the team doesn’t shuffle up the rotation after having Monday off, then Hendricks would be lined up to start against the Atlanta Braves next Thursday.

I hope that doesn’t happen and I don’t care how they switch things up in the starting five, but it can’t be Hendricks. You’re basically punting a game when he pitches.

It looks like Jordan Wicks is heading out for a rehab assignment soon, so maybe he returns in 10 days or so, and at that point it should be an easy decision for the Cubs if everyone else remains healthy. Wicks slots into Hendricks’ spot. In the meantime, I think you go back to Ben Brown or Hayden Wesneski in the rotation until Wicks is ready to come back.

Again, if this wasn’t Kyle Hendricks, he would probably already be outta here. But I get it, he’s earned some respect, got the benefit of the doubt and received a few extra starts to prove that he can still be good. It’s painfully clear, though, the time has come to an end for Kyle Hendricks.


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May 18, 2024 8:32 pm

Been saying this the whole offseason

May 18, 2024 7:13 am

Time to say goodbye to a great Cubs pitcher. I was hoping that they would relieve Kyle of calling his own pitches.

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