Hendricks in 'waiting game' until pain subsides

Hendricks in 'waiting game' until pain subsides

PITTSBURGH -- All Kyle Hendricks can do is wait. The Cubs pitcher, on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right hand, needs the pain to go away before he can resume throwing.

Hendricks underwent a second MRI exam, which had the same results as the first one. That's a good sign, Hendricks said.

"We're basically in a waiting game now until I'm asymptomatic," Hendricks said Saturday. "I'm just coming in every day, and it has to be any one of these days. Hopefully this week I become asymptomatic, and we can go with the throwing program from there. The throwing program wouldn't be too long, since I was already in season."

Hendricks, who last pitched June 4, tried to play catch last Tuesday, and his hand was still stiff. He has not thrown since.

"It's basically right on my middle finger, so just gripping a ball, pushing down and gripping hard, there's a sharp pain in there," Hendricks said. "Obviously, we can't have that. It is weird, but having it in the middle finger, all my pitches come off of that."

The right-hander admitted he was nervous when he first experienced the soreness, because he didn't know what it was.

"Getting the second opinion and seeing there's nothing in the second MRI, it's now just a waiting game," Hendricks said. "It's a little frustrating sitting around. It's not something that will linger. It's hopefully a couple days and I can start throwing."

He was hoping to return before the All-Star break, but now isn't sure if that's possible.

"I need to stay calm about it and let the pain get out of there first, and then as soon as that's out of there, I feel I can be optimistic and plan my throwing and see when I can come back," Hendricks said.

• When manager Joe Maddon was ejected three pitches into the Cubs' game Friday night, did he learn anything watching the contest on television rather than from the dugout?

Maddon ejected in 1st

"I was watching the at-bats as much as anything, pitches we may have been chasing," Maddon said. "Then all of a sudden in the [ninth] inning, everything started to go to the opposite field. That's what we're capable of doing."

The Cubs scored six runs in the ninth inning to post a 9-5 victory over the Pirates. It's the biggest ninth-inning outburst since June 16, 2015, when the Cubs scored seven in the ninth in a 17-0 Interleague victory over the Indians.

Maddon said he didn't like the early at-bats, because it seemed as if the Cubs' hitters were making up their minds to swing before the ball was even thrown. That changed in the ninth.

"That's what I'd like to see more," Maddon said.

• With Hendricks and Brett Anderson both on the disabled list, the Cubs are getting a good look at Eddie Butler and Mike Montgomery as starters. That could pay off next year. Jake Arrieta and John Lackey are both free agents after this season.

"In a perverse way, it actually could benefit us," Maddon said. "I think they both have shown well. When Kyle gets well, this will benefit us."

• On Monday, Albert Almora Jr. and his wife, Krystal, will participate in the "Intentional Walk" event with PAWS Chicago to raise awareness about walking dogs at local shelters. The Almoras, together with a team of Cubs front-office volunteers, will visit the PAWS shelter in Lincoln Park to walk dogs.

Almora may also check out the dogs for a possible future pet.

"We were talking, and that might be something in our future," Almora said. "We definitely want to adopt another dog. I feel this is something to help out, and it's for a good cause."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.