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It’s Time for the Cubs to Say Farewell to Franchise Great

The Cubs are just over 20 games into their season and it might be time to cut ties with a franchise great, as Kyle Hendricks has struggled to find his stuff four starts into the year. It’s hard to imagine the front office letting him make starts like these for much longer. 

In 17 innings pitched in 2024, Hendricks has rough marks on the hill. The 34-year-old has a 12.71 ERA and a 2.235 WHIP so far this year. The right-hander’s 24 earned runs allowed are nearly half the total of what he gave up all of last season (57) in 137 innings tossed. 

Hendricks is coming off a start in the desert against the Diamondbacks that was not one to remember. The veteran gave up seven earned runs off five hits in 5 1/3 innings. Hendricks has allowed five runs in two starts and seven in the other two this season. The least amount of runs an opponent has scored in a Hendricks start this season is seven. The Cubs won that contest 9-7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers back on April 5 at Wrigley Field. 

Cubs Should Say Farewell to Franchise Great Kyle Hendricks

The Future Is Now

Finding a way to move on from Hendricks could make sense now with the ascending youth presence on the Cubs staff. Ben Brown is a prime example of a hurler who has found early success in his career. He has received opportunities for his hard work in the show and it’s understandable as to why. Plenty of it has to do with the money tied into Hendricks. The organization could find it more difficult to prioritize a younger (and potentially better) option in the rotation.

Along with Brown, left-handers Shota Imanaga and Jordan Wicks are guys the Cubs can’t possibly bump out of the rotation at this time. The pipeline will continue to pump out arms soon to come and get big-time starts. Top pitching prospect Cade Horton has been carving through the Minor Leagues. The former Oklahoma Sooner should be making starts at Wrigley Field in no time. 

A decision like this is never easy for an organization. Hendricks is a player who has done so much for this club and will be recognized for his accomplishments forever on the north side of Chicago. However, this team is in a position to compete for a winnable NL Central in 2024. To give the club the best chance to win that crown, tough decisions like this one with Hendricks need to be discussed at the very least. 

An Ode To a Cub Great 

Hendricks was dealt to the Cubs in 2012 at the trade deadline in the Ryan Dempster deal. Since then, he has been a pivotal part of the organization. He started Game 7 of the 2016 World Series and was a major part of bringing a title back to Wrigleyville for the first time in 108 years. 

The Dartmouth graduate and franchise great won the ERA title back in that 2016 season with an astounding 2.13 mark. He and his teammate Jon Lester were finalists for the NL Cy Young Award in the same season. Despite two great individual seasons, they ultimately lost out to Max Scherzer.

Some of the biggest moments from the Cubs’ playoff runs in the 2010s came with Hendricks on the mound. This is an unfortunate circumstance where the organization might need to cut ties with the veteran soon. He will be heralded as a hero in Wrigleyville for eternity. Fans will never forget what Kyle Hendricks brought as a franchise great to the city of Chicago. 


Photo Credit: © Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports


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