Why it's not a bad time for Hendricks to land on DL
If there's ever a good time to go on the disabled list, that time might be now for Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks.
The Cubs placed Hendricks on the 10-day DL Thursday with tendinitis in his right middle finger. The injury affects Hendricks in the back of his hand.
The DL stint may enable last year's ERA champ (2.13) to catch a bit of a breather. He is 4-3 with a 4.09 ERA.
"It's not the worst thing in the world," manager Joe Maddon said Friday. "I think for the most part the starters have not been pressed numbers wise or innings wise to this point. A guy like Kyle, we've talked about maybe the velocity's been down a tick. This might actually be a good thing for him, just putting him on a different pattern, also.
"I've always attempted to plan for the latter part of the season. I want to make sure that guys are healthy and rested. Our starters have had so many innings piled on them the last couple of years, I don't think it's a bad thing."
Hendricks said he is optimistic he'll need only the minimum stay on the DL and that he'll be ready to pitch next weekend in Pittsburgh. The DL move is retroactive to June 5.
"It kind of came up quick," Hendricks said. "Nothing traumatizing. I just kind of felt it Tuesday, starting in my bullpen after my start. Wednesday it was worse so I had to say something. I could probably push through a start if we really, really had to.
"But at this point, the area it's in, in my right hand, and with some of the stuff we saw in the MRI, just let the inflammation get down, take the week, take a few of those extra days and then come back for the Pittsburgh series."
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After seven-plus seasons in the minor leagues, right-hander Seth Frankoff made his major-league debut Friday in the Cubs' 5-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
He worked 2 innings in relief of starting pitcher Mike Montgomery and gave up 4 hits and 2 runs, both coming on Charlie Blackmon's homer in the fifth. Frankoff was tagged with the losing decision.
The 28-year-old right-hander was drafted in 2010 by Oakland in the 27th round. He signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs last November and went to spring training as a nonroster invitee. He got "the call" Thursday afternoon.
"I was supposed to start in Des Moines," he said. "I got a call from the manager (Marty Pevey) around 1:45 saying, 'Congratulations, you're going to the big leagues.' Obviously you envision the day coming up quite a bit. It kind of didn't turn out the way I thought it was going to be. I really didn't get to really experience it because it happened so fast. I don't think you should ever complain about getting called up to the big leagues."
There was one more nice twist.
"I got drafted seven years ago to the day," he said. "Hopefully I can do what it takes to stay."