Chicago Cubs Kyle Hendricks Speaks on Move to Bullpen

Chicago Cubs Kyle Hendricks Speaks on Move to Bullpen

The Chicago Cubs made a major change with their pitching staff this week. The longest-tenured player on their team, starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks, is being removed from the rotation and placed in the bullpen.

It is a move that the Cubs held off on for as long as they could. But, the veteran, who is in his 11th season with the team, has not been performing well. Reliant on precision and pitch accuracy more than velocity, he has been hit hard all season.

Kyle Hendricks has made one relief appearance in his career, back in 2016 when he led the MLB with a 2.16 ERA. But, as the consummate professional, he is taking things in stride. it is a new challenge that he is looking forward to conquering.

“I’m honestly excited for the opportunity and the challenge, in a way,” Hendricks said Wednesday afternoon. “It’s been great being down there with the guys for a game. … It’s about giving the team the best chance to win at the end of the day. That’s all I’m trying to be about.”

Through seven starts this season, Kyle Hendricks has recorded an ERA of 10.57 through only 30.2 innings pitched. He has surrendered 50 hits and 11 walks, resulting in 37 runs 36 of which are earned. The long ball has been especially damaging, as the veteran surrendered 10 already this season after only 15 and 13 in 2022 and 2023.

“I’ve picked a lot of guys’ brains that have done both,” Hendricks said. “I picked up a lot of good nuggets already,” Hendricks said.

Right now, the Chicago Cubs don’t have a specific plan in place for Hendricks out of the bullpen. He has told manager Craig Counsell that he is ready for whatever the team needs him to do.

Currently in second place in the NL Central, it was a matter of when, not if, a move was made by the Chicago Cubs. They have gone 2-5 in Kyle Hendricks’ starts this season, including his last start, which was an ugly outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 17th. In six out of seven starts, he surrendered at least four runs and hadn’t recorded an out in the sixth inning.

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