Injury Notes: Hendricks, Borucki, Jung

Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks underwent an MRI yesterday that will determine whether the veteran starter will be able to return this season, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer announced to reporters (Twitter link via Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune). It’s been more than a month since a shoulder strain sent Hendricks to the injured list, and the last update from the team (prior to this MRI revelation) came back on July 13, when Hendricks was shut down from throwing for three weeks. Presumably, the Cubs will get multiple opinions on the MRI results before making a determination and ultimately making an announcement regarding the 32-year-old righty.

Hendricks, a former MLB leader in ERA and third-place finisher in Cy Young voting (both in 2016), is in the third guaranteed season of a four-year, $55.5MM contract that also contains a club option for the 2024 campaign. He’s made 16 starts for the Cubs this season and logged a 4.80 ERA — a near-mirror image of last year’s 4.77 mark across 32 outings. The Cubs owe him $14MM in 2023, and there’s a $1.5MM buyout on a $16MM team option for the 2024 season.

Some more injury scenarios that merit attention…

  • Left-hander Ryan Borucki, the lone southpaw in the Mariners’ bullpen, will undergo an MRI after exiting last night’s game with a forearm strain, tweets Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. Divish notes that Mariners skipper Scott Servais “would prefer to have a lefty out of the bullpen if possible.” The only other lefty option on the 40-man roster is rookie Brennan Bernardino, who has all of 2 1/3 Major League innings under his belt. The M’s do have Roenis Elias, Fernando Abad and Nick Ramirez as non-40-man options in Triple-A Tacoma, and each has posted anywhere from passable to strong numbers with the Rainiers thus far. Borucki, 28, has pitched 19 1/3 innings of 4.26 ERA ball for Seattle since being acquired from the Jays back in June.
  • Rangers top prospect Josh Jung will come off the minor league injured list and make his season debut with Triple-A Round Rock tonight, tweets Kennedi Landry of The 24-year-old Jung, whom Texas tabbed with the No. 8 overall pick back in 2019, entered the season as one of the sport’s top overall prospects but required surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in late February. At the time, it was believed that Jung would need about six months to be ready just to serve as a designated hitter in a game setting, but he’s beaten that timeline considerably, as Landry notes that he’s slated to play third base tonight and has already played in eight rehab games with the organization’s Rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona Complex League. Jung hit .326/.398/.592 in 342 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A last season and, prior to the injury, was seen as a candidate to make his big league debut this year. Now that he’s back in action at Triple-A with two months of season left, it’s again feasible he could reach the Majors in 2022.