October 3, 2022

Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendrix left his start Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers (CHC 8, MIL 3) after three rounds due to “right shoulder soreness,” According to MLB.com. Hendricks previously missed 12 days in June with a similar issue, although it’s unclear how this match compares to that one.

The team announced on Wednesday that it has placed Hendrix on its 15-day list with a right shoulder injury. He will undergo an MRI in the coming days. Righty Anderson Espinoza was called to fill the roster spot.

“I went out for the first warm-up of the game and kind of felt like it,” Hendrix told MLB.com after Tuesday’s game. And it just started from there. (Manager David Ross) knows me. So, he knew. He could see. There was no point in pushing. and find out what is going on around him.

Hendricks’ saw him against the Brewers which allowed him to run twice on two strokes and walk twice over the course of three innings. He hit four of the 13 hits he faced. On a troubling note, Hendrix’s slick ball speed clocked in at 85.7 mph, or nearly a point below his seasonal average of 86.5 mph, according to Statcast data.

Hendricks, 32, came in on Tuesday after starting 15 games this season. In those appearances, he has accumulated a 4.76 ERA (90 ERA+) and a 2.82 strike-to-walk ratio. His overall numbers don’t reveal the volatile nature of his season. Hendricks has either allowed one or fewer runs or five or more runs on 10 of his 15 outings listed above.

Hendrix, who has a guaranteed year left on his contract, could in theory be an attractive business target for a team looking for a back-to-date type. We’ll see how long, if any, Hendrix will miss this, and what he will do to his chances of progressing before the August 2 deadline. However, it is fair to think that teams may have reservations about trading a bowler who has suffered shoulder problems twice in a month.

Espinosa, 24, was once a very respected figure before injuries hit and the pandemic kept him sidelined from 2017-20. He has a 7.11 ERA in 44 1/3 Double-A innings this year. Espinosa made his MLB debut earlier this season, allowing him to run two runs in four rounds in a comfortable appearance against the Brewers on May 30.

The Cubs entered on Wednesday with a record 33-48 on the season, bringing them back 13 games in the National Central League. The Cubs are set to wrap up their three-game streak against the Brewers on Wednesday before opening a four-game set in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Thursday.

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