The Cubs face off against the Nats in the NLDS starting this Friday and the guy who will get the Cubs first start of the 2017 postseason is the same one who got the last start in the 2016 postseason: Kyle Hendricks.
Hendricks was 7-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 24 starts this year but had an outstanding second half of the regular season, posting a 2.19 ERA and a 72/19 K/BB ratio over his thirteen starts after the All-Star break.
Jon Lester will start Game 2 on Saturday, Jose Quintana will start Game 3 on Monday and, if the series is not a sweep, Jake Arrieta will start Game 4. Arrieta is being pushed back farther than he normally would be due to a right hamstring injury. John Lackey will, apparently, pitch out of the bullpen.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.