Hendricks to fill one of two openings in rotation

Hendricks to fill one of two openings in rotation

PHOENIX -- Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs' Minor League pitcher of the year last season, will be slotted into the fourth spot in the rotation, starting Tuesday as the team tries to fill the vacancies created by the July 4 trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

Hendricks made his Major League debut July 10 against the Reds, and gave up four runs on five hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out seven and did not get a decision. The right-hander rejoined Triple-A Iowa after the game, but did not pitch again until he threw two innings on Wednesday for the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star game.

"The thought is to allow him to slot into that spot and see how he does," manager Rick Renteria said of Hendricks, who was 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 17 starts at Iowa with 97 strikeouts and 23 walks over 102 2/3 innings.

Renteria wasn't ready to name the Cubs' fifth starter. They have an off-day Monday before opening a series against the Padres on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

"We're close," Renteria said. "I don't want to say."

The options include right-hander Dallas Beeler and left-handers Tsuyoshi Wada and Chris Rusin. All three have pitched this year, with Rusin appearing in two games in relief.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.