Why Hendricks calls doubtless selloff ‘easier this time around’ initially appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
It ain’t straightforward watching what’s occurred to the Cubs roster and route of the franchise since that pandemic-season division title. Especially from a seat within the clubhouse. Especially throughout that 20-hour purge final July.
“Honestly, I think it’s much easier this time around. You’re not really thinking about it as much,” Cubs veteran Kyle Hendricks stated throughout a quiet second within the clubhouse lately when the staff was struggling via a 10-game dropping streak.
“You don’t want to conjecture what could happen,” he stated. “But obviously we know we’re in the same situation here. There’s a lot of names.”
Names that may go away once more by the commerce deadline.
Not as many as final summer season possibly. Certainly not as many championship core guys.
Of course, that’s the large distinction this time. Only three of these gamers are left.
And because the veteran pitcher who had a lot success beginning so lots of these enormous video games throughout these 5 playoff seasons works now to search out his method again to performing extra like that pitcher, it’s nearly unattainable to know what’s subsequent.
What’s subsequent for this staff that misplaced for the eleventh time in 13 video games Sunday. And for the Game 7 World Series starter who gave up all six runs in Sunday’s 6-0 loss to the Braves.
The Cubs are in full rebuild mode with Hendricks presently sharing a rotation with two second-year pitchers (Keegan Thompson, Justin Steele) and two rookies (Caleb Kilian, Matt Swarmer) as veterans Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley and Drew Smyly rehab accidents.
Hendricks, probably the greatest starters within the majors the primary seven years of his profession (3.12 ERA), has struggled since final season. But he stated Sunday the shoulder problem that led to a two-week blow this month is totally behind him, and he confirmed flashes of classic Hendricks between the second and fourth innings Sunday and through his return begin 5 days earlier.
“I feel great. Shoulder feels great. Arm. Everything,” he stated. “Body’s back. That’s the biggest positive [from the Atlanta loss].”
Beyond that, he embraces a mentoring function with the younger starters round him — one thing the drew reward from his supervisor Sunday — and braces for the following wave of exits.
This wave’s all however assured of together with the catcher who has caught extra of Hendricks’ begins, by far, than anybody else, together with the pennant-clincher in opposition to Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers and each World Series begins in opposition to Cleveland in 2016.
“There’s a lot of names up in the air. And Willy’s my guy, man. I love him,” Hendricks stated of Willson Contreras, who’s anticipated to earn his third All-Star starter choice, then get traded.
“That’s been a special run.”
Hendricks, for one, figures to be extra ready for this one than he was a yr in the past when Anthony Rizzo, Javy Báez after which Kris Bryant have been traded throughout a 20-hour flurry at 2021 commerce deadline.
“I never played with someone like that group of guys for that amount of time,” stated Hendricks, whose big-league debut got here in 2014 on the day Rizzo threw down his glove and challenged the 25 occupants of the Reds dugout to a struggle — a number of months of baseball earlier than Joe Maddon and Jon Lester signed up for a 2015 season that launched an period for the Cubs.
“That was a very unique situation I think for me and [Jason Heyward] and Willy, the guys that have been here,” Hendricks stated, “just with the group that it was, and how long we’ve been here and what was accomplished.
“To have Rizz be the first one, and it happened at home. That was a big sign,” he added. “Him getting emotional; it just really hit home — because he was Mr. Cub. I mean, Ernie [Banks] is the guy, but he was Mr. Chicago. He was the face of the Cubs. And for that to be the first move, it just really signaled where things were headed.
“It was definitely a shock in some ways for sure.”
It’s that shock that has worn off because the Cubs head into the ultimate six weeks of play earlier than this yr’s commerce deadline.
Nine gamers have been traded by the Cubs final July of their first deadline selloff for the reason that 2014 Jeff Samardzija-Jason Hammel commerce for Addison Russell that opened the spot within the rotation for Hendricks to debut and audition the remainder of that season.
Who is aware of what number of will go this time round? Who is aware of what number of extra years of this the followers and gamers will endure earlier than staff president Jed Hoyer finds the core of his “next great Cubs team”?
Even Hoyer made it clear he didn’t have solutions to a few of these questions when he met with media through the homestand.
Hendricks, who has one other assured yr left on his contract after this one, in all probability will keep in a Cubs uniform not less than into subsequent yr. His worth as a stabilizer and mentor for the younger pitchers means that a lot (by no means thoughts the actual fact his struggles restrict his commerce worth).
The final time the staff went via this sort of course of, Hendricks was a giant a part of the reply.
Now it’s nearly all questions, together with: Where will he be when this staff is aggressive once more?
“That’s a good question,” he stated. “Being around for this amount of time, I’m pretty good about not thinking about those kinds of things.
“But I’ve loved every second of it,” he stated. “I still love it here. They’ve treated me so well. The line of communication’s been open. They know that. They know how much I love being here.
“But whatever ends up happening, whatever route they think is best for the Chicago Cubs, that’s what they’re going to take, and that’s totally fine with me. At the end of the day, I would love to be here, obviously, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen; I’ll take advantage of whatever the next opportunity may be.”
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