Kyle Hendricks to skip rehab assignment, rejoin Cubs’ rotation Tuesday in Pittsburgh
The right-hander’s quick return from a shoulder injury comes just in time to fill the opening created by Cole Hamels’ oblique injury Friday.
CINCINNATI — The Cubs found a short-term answer for left-hander Cole Hamels’ oblique injury in right-hander Kyle Hendricks’ quick return to health.
Hendricks, who has been on the injured list since shoulder inflammation flared during a start June 14, has fared well enough in bullpen sessions after getting a cortisone shot that he’ll skip a rehab assignment.
The Cubs plan to activate Hendricks from the IL to start Tuesday in Pittsburgh, with right-hander Yu Darvish going Wednesday and left-hander Jose Quintana going Thursday.
‘‘I feel 100 percent,’’ said Hendricks, who will be on a limit of 60 to 75 pitches. ‘‘It’s good to be back.’’
Rookie right-hander Adbert Alzolay will make his second career start to open the series Monday.
With left-hander Jon Lester and Hendricks in line to pitch Saturday and Sunday against the White Sox leading into the All-Star break, Alzolay can be optioned back to the minors to make room for Hendricks.
That would allow Alzolay to pitch Sunday in the All-Star Futures Game in Cleveland. And he could be brought back after the break if the Cubs slot him into their rotation plans at that point.
‘‘It’s up to the team; I’m here to help the team and do my job,’’ said Alzolay, who earned a victory in relief in his debut June 22 and has allowed two runs in 8 2/3 innings (2.08 ERA). ‘‘Whatever the team needs from me, I’ll be here to do it.’’
Stupid is as stupid . . .
Manager Joe Maddon said he was still in his office at the ballpark Saturday when he saw the news crawl on his personal device. It was just minutes after reliever Pedro Strop uttered the since-gone-viral words about Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig being ‘‘stupid as f---.’’
Is Maddon part of the same school of thought on the subject?
‘‘I really had not processed that thought before,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘I’ve often encouraged our guys to speak their mind, and I’m sure a lot of folks found that entertaining. You’ll have to ask Pedro to comment further on that.
‘‘I thought it was a little bit out of character for him. Nevertheless, I’ve always encouraged my guys to speak their mind.’’
Maddon admitted he got a chuckle out of seeing the comments.
‘‘How could you not?’’ he said. ‘‘It’s like, ‘Fatigue makes cowards out of all of us,’ [by] Vince Lombardi. This one by Pedro Strop may stand the test of time, also.’’
Short day for Javy
Shortstop Javy Baez had a scheduled day off until the Cubs needed him to pinch-hit after outfielder Jason Heyward had led off the eighth inning with a walk in a one-run game. Baez struck out and stayed in to finish the game.
‘‘He [needed] a day, and that was important,’’ Maddon said, looking ahead at Baez’s All-Star obligations next week. ‘‘It’s another situation where you have to be on, almost like playoff-on or World Series-on. It can take its toll.
‘‘That’s why I want to be very aware going into it — and on the backside of it, too.’’
Reliever Carl Edwards Jr. joined Class AAA Iowa for a rehab assignment.
Edwards, who’s on the injured list with a strain on the left side of his upper back, is scheduled to pitch an inning Monday. He will be evaluated for a possible return or another rehab appearance after that.