With Kyle Hendricks out likely out until at least mid-May the Cubs find themselves with an interesting predicament on their hands. You’re probably asking what the predicament could be when with Kyle they’d have a six man rotation. Well, the fact is they have six starters without Kyle thanks to their offseason signing of Jameson Taillon. Add to that, Javier Assad looked great playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic while Hayden Wesneski has also looked good starting games for the Cubs.
So, that raises the question of do the Cubs break camp with a six man rotation until Hendricks returns? Doing that would allow them to have “bullpen” days every sixth day and avoid injuries to Steel, Assad, and Wesneski who all have less experience in the majors than Stroman, Sampson and Taillon.
Calling it a six man rotation is probably a stretch because Steel and Wesneski would probably be used mostly in long relief and get starts only on those “bullpen” days with Assad starting on the bullpen days to stay stretched out as a starter. Then when Hendricks returns Steel and Sampson would probably end up in the bullpen as long relievers if everyone is healthy and Steel, Sampson, or Assad would be traded.
The other storyline to watch as spring training winds down is the story Seiya Suzuki’s left oblique strain. Earlier this month he was scratched from a start due to the injury. With it looking like he should be ready to go on opening day many reporters are asking, “Why rush him back with the cold weather in April and early May?”
I happen to agree with this. I think the Cubs should be cautious with Suzuki and send him to minor league camp for a rehab assignment when the team breaks camp. Then in mid-to-late April bring him back and continue being cautious.
To tease an upcoming post of mine I have not watched any World Baseball Classic games since 2013 and the Edwin Diaz season ending injury being is only one reason I am unlikely to ever watch another. I never thought the idea was a good one because of the intensity of the games. More to come in my next baseball article.
With that… it is time to play ball!
If you cannot play with them, root for them!