Projecting next year’s Chicago Cubs starting rotation
Kyle Hendricks and Keegan Thompson both have a case for the final spot
The final spot in the rotation could go a number of ways. Chicago could add another free agent or dip into the minor leagues to add the final arm but the most likely outcome is Kyle Hendricks once again.
Hendricks was a franchise hero at one point and I understand the infatuation with his career ending with the Cubs but he is far from the pitcher he used to be. He was terrible in 2021 with a 4.77 ERA, a career-high 31 home runs allowed and a league-worst 200 hits allowed.
This season, Hendricks is on pace to be just as bad for the Cubs. Heading into Tuesday’s start, his ERA had ballooned to 5.22 with 11 home runs to his credit already. His time is dwindling but the Cubs might not have any other option.
Keegan Thompson would be a strong candidate to challenge Hendricks for the final spot in the rotation after he’s made some impressive starts this season. However, I think Thompson’s future is out of the bullpen and as a spot-starter as he was to open up this season. His struggles lately seem to be a result of shifting to the rotation, which was not his role.
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Ultimately, Hendricks is probably going to finish his career with the Cubs in some role or another. It will not be the right move for the club but it’s a nice sendoff to his career.