(CBS) The Cubs recently sent right-hander Jason Hammel and three other relievers to Arizona to get stretched out, pitching coach Chris Bosio said on 670 The Score on Wednesday morning, a day after Chicago clinched the National League Divisional Series with a come-from-behind 6-5 win at San Francisco that was highlighted by a four-run rally in the ninth inning.
The move was conducted as the Cubs weigh whether to add a 12th pitcher to their 25-man NLCS roster. Hammel, right-hander Trevor Cahill, left-hander Rob Zastryzny and right-hander Joe Smith each were stretched out, Bosio said. Hammel got five innings of work, Zastryzny and Smith three each and Smith got one in. None were included on the team’s NLDS roster, as Chicago carried 11 pitchers and 14 position players in the shorter best-of-five series.
The Cubs discovered the importance of long relievers in the NLDS, as right-hander Kyle Hendricks left Game 2 in the fourth inning with an injury and a Game 3 marathon went 13 innings.
The team’s No. 5 starter in the regular season, Hammel hasn’t pitched in a game since Sept. 24. He was 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.21 WHIP .
“We’ve got these guys stretched out,” Bosio told Joe Ostrowski and Mike Esposito on Wednesday morning.
“So we’ve got some options. It just depends on the opponent and which direction we want to go.”
The Cubs’ rotation of Jon Lester, Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey remains ready to go as Chicago preps to host Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday at Wrigley Field, against the Washington-Los Angeles winner. That series will hold Game 5 on Thursday.
Hendricks suffered a contusion in taking a liner off his pitching arm Saturday but is expected to be fine for the NLCS, Bosio said.
“I don’t see any reason he’s not going to be able to make that start unless he has another setback,” Bosio said. “He’s progressing great.”
Listen to Bosio’s full interview below.