Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks threw five perfect innings Monday while striking out three and throwing 63 pitches in a rehab start with Double-A Tennessee.
Hendricks hasn’t pitched for the Cubs since June 4 before being placed on the 10-day disabled list with right hand tendinitis. He was 4-3 with a 4.09 ERA and a 2.43 K/BB ratio in 11 starts before hitting the disabled list.
Monday’s start against the Mobile BayBears was the second rehab start for Hendricks since being assigned to Double-A Tennesse on July 10. He threw 3.2 innings and allowed one run on two hits while striking out two in his first rehab outing.
Hendricks is set to rejoin a rotation that now includes left-hander Jose Quintana, whom the Cubs acquired from the White Sox on Thursday for Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez and two other minor leaguers. Hendricks’ perfect outing Monday was expected to be the last of his rehab assignment as the Cubs’ rotation currently includes Quintana, Jake Arrieta, Mike Montgomery and Jon Lester.
Hendricks has taken a bit of a step back to open this season after going 16-8 with a 2.13 ERA last year to win the National League ERA crown while finishing third in the NL Cy Young Award voting.
Chicago entered Monday 4.5 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central. It acquired Hendricks from the Texas Rangers in July 2012, along with Christian Villanueva, as part of the package for right-hander Ryan Dempster. He finished seventh in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2014 and has made 30-plus starts in each of the last two seasons.