This should have been the move and yet I’m still stunned they did it, but it was time. Nick Madrigal has been sent down to Triple-A.
That brings the last member of the 2016 World Series team back.
I’m bringing up the fact that Kyle Hendricks is the last player from the 2016 World Series team because we could very likely be looking at the professor’s final run with the Chicago Cubs. After being out for nearly a full calendar year, Hendricks is officially back with the Cubs and he’ll be starting against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field Wednesday night.
I’ve been hesitant to put any expectations on Hendricks. He missed the majority of the 2022 season, getting shut down after his start against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 5, with a shoulder injury. He did not have surgery, but Hendricks spent months working back from a capsular tear in his right shoulder. The rehab process delayed his return this year, as he was about a month behind when spring training began for all the other pitchers.
Hendricks began his rehab assignment in late April with the Iowa Cubs at Triple-A and his first few outings were pretty bad. However, the important part has been that the shoulder feels good again and slowly but surely, the results got better as Hendricks ramped up in the minors. Now he’s back and yes we might not be getting prime Kyle Hendricks, but how can you not feel at least some excitement seeing him back on the mound at Wrigley Field?
As far as expectations? I mean, just don’t be Jameson Taillon, amirite? Hendricks is going to be slotted in at the back end of the rotation and that’s really the production you want to see from him. Hopefully he can pitch well enough to keep the Cubs in games and not completely get blown up early that puts the Cubs in a big hole, as has been the case lately with Taillon.
As for Madrigal, he simply was not contributing anything on offense and even with his solid defense overall at third base, there just wasn’t much value he was giving to the team off the bench. Hopefully getting regular at bats down in Triple-A will get Madrigal back in a groove.
Madrigal back in a groove