Getting right-hander Kyle Hendricks on the right track would go a long way from taking the Chicago Cubs from a solid team to a World Series favorite.
When the Chicago Cubs made their run to a World Series title two years ago, Kyle Hendricks stepped up. He did so on the biggest stages at the most critical times. First, he clinched the National League pennant in front of a raucous crowd at Wrigley Field. Then, he took the ball in Game 7 in Cleveland, doing everything possible to get his team a win.
And, once the confetti fell and the euphoria subsided (at least a little bit), he received some well-deserved appreciation. The soft-tossing righty finished third in National League Cy Young voting after leading all of baseball with a 2.13 earned run average.
Last season, Hendricks again pitched well. He battled injuries though, and really never got locked in like he did in 2016. And, whether you believe in the eye test or the numbers themselves, that seems to be the case again in 2018.
With Jon Lester looking like a legitimate Cy Young candidate once again, a clear void exists behind him in the rotation. And, if the Cubs, whose offense is putting up runs at a historic clip lately, want to leap frog the Brewers in the Central and set their sights on another title, they need another starter to step up.