MILWAUKEE — There was some concern for starter Kyle Hendricks on Tuesday after he was scratched minutes before his start with COVID-19 symptoms. Hendricks was feeling ill before his outing, but all reports on Wednesday are that the Cubs’ ace is doing much better.
Hendricks was sent home Wednesday, and while the team is continuing to monitor him, they’re hoping things continue to trend in the right direction. Hendricks tested negative for the coronavirus in the team’s latest round of testing and will continue to be tested twice a day out of extreme caution.
The Cubs have three players on the COVID-19-related injured list and two coaches who have tested positive for the virus. Right-hander Jason Adam was activated off the list before Wednesday’s game.
“I feel like the daily testing has become the stats I’m looking at right now, and that’s not what you want to be doing,” president Jed Hoyer said before the Cubs’ 7-0 loss. “Obviously, earlier last year we were able to avoid this scenario. And this year, we’ve had a couple of coaches test positive. And as a result, we’ve had to act with an abundance of caution.
“We’ve gotten a lot of negative tests back, but given the incubation periods and stuff like that, you never know when that’s going to change. So it feels like every day is sort of a new challenge with this. How to distinguish what is seasonal allergies versus what is COVID symptoms, there’s no way to know and I think because we have those two coaches that are positive, we have to act in a certain fashion.”
Alzolay optioned, Miller recalled
The Cubs optioned right-hander Adbert Alzolay to the alternate site, and right-hander Shelby Miller was recalled from South Bend, Indiana.
The move doesn’t come as a surprise as the Cubs have had a plan to monitor Alzolay’s innings since the spring.
The Cubs can control his workload by having him at the alternate site, keeping him on a starter’s schedule in the process. He was 0-2 with a 6.10 ERA in two starts this season but pitched well Monday against the Brewers.
Romine activated from IL, Wolters DFA’d
The Cubs activated catcher Austin Romine from the 10-day injured list before the game against the Brewers. In a corresponding move, catcher Tony Wolters was designated for assignment.
Romine got his first start of the season in the series-finale loss, going 0-for-3.
Right-hander Rowan Wick may be a little farther behind as he continues to work back from an intercostal injury, but he continues to trend in the right direction.
Wick has increased his workload over the last several weeks. The right-hander threw a 35-pitch bullpen last week, which is a positive sign. The next step in Wick’s progression over the next few weeks will be getting him throwing back-to-back days.
“I think the process with him is making sure that each step is a nice recovery process and making sure there’s no effect from the bullpen,” manager David Ross said. ‘‘But yeah, that is the progression. Getting him some live [batting practices] where he lets it eat. Get him some back-to-backs and some real competition. They’re starting up games down in Arizona right now. So that might be the next step for him.”