The Chicago Cubs are in the midst of a tight National League Central race, having entered Saturday a game behind the Milwaukee Brewers. Unfortunately for the Cubs, if they’re to take over the division anytime soon they’ll have to do it without one of their top starters.
On Saturday, the Cubs placed Kyle Hendricks on the injured list due to right shoulder inflammation:
Hendricks, who leads the Cubs in innings pitched, has a 3.36 ERA (132 ERA+) and staff-best 4.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio across his first 14 starts. He had one of his worst appearances on the year on Friday night, permitting five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It’s unclear how long Hendricks will miss — although obviously any kind of shoulder issue that necessitates time off is concerning. Likewise, it’s to be seen what the Cubs do with their rotation. Because of the schedule, the Cubs could maintain a four-man rotation through a turn.
After that, the Cubs may turn to well-regarded prospect Adbert Alzolay. The 24-year-old Alzolay has struck out 25 and permitted just four runs in 17 innings over his last three starts in Triple-A.