Kyle Hendricks returns to Cubs’ rotation amid rash of injuries

The Cubs announced Sunday that right-hander Kyle Hendricks will rejoin the rotation and face the Giants on Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs moved Hendricks to the bullpen after he posted a 10.57 ERA through seven starts. But the loss of left-hander Jordan Wicks, who left the 3-0 loss to the Cardinals on Friday with a Grade 2 right oblique strain, opened a starting spot.

Hendricks pitched well in relief of Wicks, allowing two hits and no runs in 4⅓ innings.

Manager Craig Counsell was pleased with how Hendricks handled his move to the bullpen.

“In a lot of ways, Kyle continues to impress you,” Counsell said. “Even though he’s had a tough go of it so far. We just talked about how he’s worried about things that he can control, and that’s to be ready when his name is called and to not make it any more complicated than that.

“Easier said than done with what Kyle has accomplished and what he has meant here.”

Counsell said he hasn’t talked with president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer about getting outside reinforcements. The Cubs also are without right-hander Ben Brown (stress reaction in neck).

Taillon dealing

After allowing a two-run home run to Cardinals catcher Pedro Pages in the second inning, Cubs starter Jameson Taillon rebounded and gave the Cubs a chance to win in their 2-1 loss.

Taillon threw six innings, allowing seven hits and two runs in his fifth quality start of the season. This version of Taillon is what the Cubs envisioned when they signed him last winter. He’s giving the team innings and limiting hard contact.

In his first season with the Cubs, Taillon finished with a 4.84 ERA in 29 starts. Through 11 starts this season, his ERA is 3.08.

“He got better as the game went on,” Counsell said. “They squared some balls up early — [he] kind of left some balls in the middle of the plate — but he pitched really well and gave us a really good outing.”

Taillon has walked two or fewer batters in 10 starts this season.

Miller’s resurgence

Right-handed reliever Tyson Miller has been a surprise, posting a 0.69 ERA in 11 appearances.

The Cubs traded infielder Jake Slaughter and cash for Miller on May 13 after the Mariners designated him for assignment three days earlier. The Cubs drafted Miller in the fourth round in 2016.

After appearing in two games in 2020, Miller was designated for assignment by the Cubs in 2021 after struggling at Triple-A Iowa.

Right-handers Julian Merryweather, Yency Almonte and Adbert Alzolay each have missed at least 30 games, and the team has six pitchers on the injured list. Entering Sunday, Cubs relievers had pitched the 10th-most innings (259⅓ innings) in the majors.

Almonte will throw a bullpen session Tuesday before going on a rehab assignment.

After the game, the Cubs designated right-hander Jose Cuas for assignment and added righty Ethan Roberts to the 40-man roster before optioning him to Iowa.

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