Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks is expected to take the mound Sunday after his scheduled start on April 13 was pushed back.
Hendricks had been set to face the Milwaukee Brewers that day, but he was held out after expressing prior to the game that he wasn’t feeling well. The Cubs’ caution was understandable given that four players and two coaches had been recently placed on the COVID injured list.
However, all of Hendricks’ COVID-19 tests have come back negative, so, according to The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma, he is expected to return against the Atlanta Braves this Sunday.
Still no positive COVID-19 tests for Cubs players. Duffy and Adam already activated, Workman and Winkler will throw bullpens to "rehab" and they, along with Kyle Hendricks, are expected to return Sunday, assuming continued negative tests.— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) April 16, 2021
Going from the Brewers to the Braves is quite a matchup downgrade for Hendricks’ fantasy purposes. Each offense has been in a relative slump to start the season, but the Braves have hit 20 homers, which is tied for the most in MLB entering Friday’s action. And no one is as hot right now as Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. He’s hitting .442 with a 1.000 slugging percentage. In other words, he’s averaging one total base per at-bat. That’s comical.
Hendricks, the Cubs’ ace, has made two starts. He allowed three runs in three innings during a loss to the Pirates on Opening Day. He followed that with six shutout frames against those Brewers on April 7.