MIAMI -- As the Cubs begin to put together a couple of good series, they remain hopeful that right-handed pitcher Kyle Hendricks can rejoin the team prior to the All-Star break and help continue that trend.
Hendricks is eligible to come off the disabled list from right hand tendinitis, but he isn't quite ready just yet.
"He's feeling good," manager Joe Maddon said prior to Friday's game with Miami at Marlins Park. "He's going to throw any moment now, tomorrow or the next day possibly."
Madden added that trainer PJ Mainville and Hendricks himself remain optimistic for a return sooner rather than later. But a firm date has yet to be determined.
"If he's ready to go, go ahead," Maddon said of a possible appearance prior to the All-Star break. "This is one of those things, in the finger you've got to throw the ball and just feel the baseball. If he's doing that, there's no reason to hold him back, I don't think."
Hendricks (4-3) struggled through 11 starts this season, posting a 4.09 ERA after coming off a career year in which he won 16 games (16-8) with a 2.13 ERA. He had begun to turn things around in May, however, posting a 3.34 ERA over five starts last month.
"Whatever that pinching feeling he has or had, as long as he's good to go, I think it's wise to just let him go," Maddon said of Hendricks' return.
Jason Heyward went on the 10-day DL Thursday, retroactive to Monday, with a left hand abrasion, and he is eligible to come off next Thursday.
"He keeps getting better," Maddon said. "He's also progressing. I talked to him. You could see the look in his eyes, he's feeling better. He has the right attitude about it like he normally does. He's starting to feel better, but he's not quite ready yet."
The Cubs entered Friday having won five of seven, and seven of their last 11 games, even without some of their frontline players, and Maddon said he likes the direction the team is headed.
"I like to believe that we're trending in the right direction," he said. "We had a good series in Pittsburgh, a good series at home, a nice game last night. And we started doing this without our full complement, and that's a good thing to be able to do that.
"The depth has been tested and I think it's answered pretty well."
Benjamin Zobrist, another of the Cubs' walking wounded, could have come off the 10-day DL Friday, but he hasn't fully recovered from left wrist inflammation.
"He's upbeat and feels good," said Maddon, who added that a return is still not imminent.