MIAMI — The Cubs could get a significant boost to their starting rotation in the first series after the All-Star break if Kyle Hendricks’ encouraging rehab start Monday for Class AA Tennessee is any indication.
Hendricks, who has been on the disabled list since June 5 because of tendinitis in his hand, allowed two hits and a run during a 45-pitch start. That could put him in play to return during the Cubs’ three-game series this weekend in Baltimore.
“We’re going to see how he feels the next couple days, and then we’ll decide as an organization what we’re going to do from there,” said pitching coach Chris Bosio, who talked to Hendricks and the Tennessee coaching staff Monday night.
“Everything went really well. He was really happy with it on a hot, humid night in Tennessee. He said his stamina was good and didn’t have any issues at all. But I want to see from my own eyes.”
The Cubs haven’t announced their rotation plans beyond left-hander Mike Montgomery opening the Orioles series Friday, keeping a place warm for Hendricks.
“We want to make sure there’s no lingering effects with anything, that nothing’s going on in the finger,” Bosio said.
Hendricks was shut down after experiencing pain in the back of his hand, running down the middle finger, during a bullpen session between starts.
“He’s a big part of what we’ve done the last couple years,” Bosio said. “I would love to have him back [this weekend], but we’ve got to make absolutely sure that he’s healthy and ready to go.”
Hendricks, who struck out two and walked one in 3⅓ innings Monday, is 4-3 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 starts this season.