Cubs: 5 most important players heading into 2022 – #4: Kyle Hendricks
One of the last remaining members of the 2016 championship team, Kyle Hendricks has been at least above average with flashes of bordering on elite for quite some time now. Opposite of Stroman, Hendricks had a down year, despite a record of 14-7. His 4.77 ERA represented the worst mark of his entire career while his record on the season was his second-best. However, when it comes to Hendricks, there isn’t much room to stay pessimistic for long.
Hendricks is 83-55 with a 3.36 ERA in his big league career and has always nicely slotted in near the top of the depth chart. Given the fact the right-hander has posted three sub-3.00 ERA seasons in the past with only one season above the 4.00 mark (in 2021), I’m willing to bet last year be a wash and he’ll return to form in 2022. His track record as a Cub supports the claim that he will be able to shake it off and return to the well above-average form fans are used to.
Getting anywhere near back to his career marks is essential if the Cubs hope to have any success this coming campaign. With Hendricks and Stroman at the one and two, manning the helm of the starting rotation, it is imperative that the Cubs don’t have a repeat of 2021, when the rotation was a disaster. Adding in Stroman, with a solid comeback outing from Hendricks, can serve as a big step in the right direction.