Results tagged ‘ Kyle Hendricks ’
Justin Ruggiano drove in three runs, including two on his second spring homer, Junior Lake smacked a tie-breaking RBI and a sacrifice fly, Brett Jackson had a two-run pinch-hit single, and Anthony Rizzo hit a RBI triple for the Cubs who rallied to beat the Brewers, 10-8, on Sunday. The game drew a Cactus League-record crowd of 14,770. The attendance topped the previous league mark of 14,680 set March 1 at new Cubs Park.
* Right fielder Ryan Sweeney had to leave the game after chasing Jeff Bianchi’s double because of soreness in his right knee. Sweeney was listed as day to day.
* Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2013, gave up two runs on three hits and two walks over three innings in his second Cactus League start.
“I’m much happier with this [start],” Hendricks said. “I’m just disappointed that we go out and score two runs and then I go out and give them both back up. That will all work itself out as I get out there more and am more consistent with my mechanics.”
Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun was greeted by a chorus of boos from the sellout crowd during his two at-bats. Hendricks struck Braun out to end the first, but the Brewers outfielder doubled in the third.
“He got me on the second at-bat, but that wasn’t a bad pitch,” Hendricks said. “His barrel stays through the zone very well. I could’ve thrown a different pitch to him — but it was a good pitch, and he’s a really good hitter. He’s going to get his hits.”
Did Hendricks hear the crowd?
“You could hear those boos,” Hendricks said. “All the Brewers fans were trying to cheer over them.”
* Jeff Samardzija will make his third spring start on Monday when the Cubs travel to Scottsdale to face the Giants. Samardzija will likely pitch at least four innings. In his last outing against the Rockies, he gave up three runs on four hits over three innings. So far, he has not walked a batter, which is good. The right-hander is working on being more efficient with his pitches. The game will be broadcast on Cubs.com.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs play host to the Brewers’ split squad on Sunday at Cubs Park in Mesa. Javier Baez is scheduled to start at shortstop and backup pitcher Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2013. Anthony Rizzo, who is 6-for-13 this spring, will be at first. If you can’t be in Mesa, you can listen to a webcast on Cubs.com, and it’s free. Here’s the lineup:
* Justin Ruggiano and Anthony Rizzo combined for three runs, Albert Almora delivered a tie-breaking RBI single and Mike Olt smacked a two-run home run to lift the Cubs to a 6-3 victory Tuesday over the Athletics’ split-squad team. Ruggiano hit a RBI double in the first and a two-run homer in the third, driving in Rizzo both times, and Almora delivered a tie-breaking RBI single with one out in the eighth as the Cubs won for the second straight game.
Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year after going 13-4 at Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, gave up one run on two hits and three walks over two innings in his first Cactus League start. The right-hander walked three batters in four of his 27 starts last season, and posted a 1.058 WHIP for the season.
* Last spring, Mike Olt struggled to bat .194. On Tuesday, he collected his first Cactus League home run in just his third at-bat and it wasn’t a relief as much as affirmation that everything is going well. Olt, hoping to find a spot on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, belted a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the eighth.
“I’ve been feeling good at the plate the last couple days and as long as I’m feeling comfortable, I think good things will come,” Olt said.
The infielder was dealing with vision problems last year, although it took him while to figure that out. He went 6-for-31 in 19 spring games last year with the Rangers, including two home runs. He was assigned to Triple-A Round Rock, where he continued to struggle, batting .213. Texas included Olt as one of the four players in the deal to get Matt Garza from the Cubs. Tuesday’s home run was another step in Olt’s comeback.
“It’s really not me getting hits,” he said. “It’s about me seeing the ball well and that’s my main goal in Spring Training. Obviously, you want hits and you want to perform but the main goal in Spring Training is to get comfortable and it’s definitely a noticeable difference just the way I feel right now, and that’s what I’m happy about.”
* Cubs reliever James Russell has yet to appear in a game this spring. He said Tuesday it was because of his allergies but manager Rick Renteria said the lefty is going through a “dead arm” phase, which Russell has dealt with in the past. Russell is coming off his second straight season in which he appeared in 70-plus games. Renteria wasn’t worried about the lefty, who threw on the side Tuesday.
* Looking ahead, Jeff Samardzija starts on Wednesday against the Rockies and will be followed by Chris Rusin. Travis Wood will go Thursday, and James McDonald will make his first Cactus League start on Friday against the Angels in one of the Cubs’ split squad games. Edwin Jackson will get his second spring start in Mesa against the Indians. McDonald gave up six runs on three hits against the Angels in his first outing last Friday.
* Samardzija on the addition of Ted Lilly to the Cubs front office: “I wouldn’t have had the success I did my rookie year without Teddy.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs play host to the Athletics at Cubs Park in Mesa today with the game scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. MT. You can listen to Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie on a webcast on Cubs.com. Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs’ Minor League pitcher of the year last year, gets the start. Emilio Bonifacio starts at shortstop in Day 2 without Starlin Castro, sidelined with a mild strain of his right hamstring. Here’s the lineup:
The 15 prospects taking part in the Cubs’ Rookie Development Program took a break from their baseball studies to attend a Blackhawks’ game on Tuesday. For many of them, it was their first NHL game, and also a chance to see how rabid Chicago fans are about their team.
“Being at the stadium and watching all the people go crazy during the national anthem, that was awesome,” pitcher Pierce Johnson said Wednesday of the rousing performance before every home Blackhawks game. “I can just imagine what it’ll be like when we turn it around and actually win a World Series. I’m excited. It gives me chills.”
The Cubs are counting on the talent participating in this week’s program to get them that championship.
Joining Johnson were pitchers Kyle Hendricks, Neil Ramirez, Eric Jokisch, C.J. Edwards, Armando Rivero and Arodys Vizcaino; outfielders Albert Almora, Jorge Soler and Rubi Silva; and infielders Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Christian Villanueva, Mike Olt, and Arismendy Alcantara. Eleven of the players rank among the Cubs’ top 20 prospects, according to MLB.com. Hendricks, who completed his economics degree at Dartmouth, was the Cubs’ 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
The week-long program includes drills, a hospital visit, and seminars, and will end with the Cubs Convention this weekend. The guest speakers included Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein, manager Rick Renteria and former player Rick Sutcliffe.
“It prepares us for what’s coming,” Almora said. “They’re teaching us about what to get ready for, what to expect, what they expect from us. We’re taking it to heart, we’re taking notes. We’re in this for the long run.”
* Jason McLeod, head of scouting and player development, said Baez will open the season at Triple-A Iowa along with Villanueva and Alcantara. Bryant could be at Double-A Tennessee, and it was still to be determined where Almora and Soler will start the year.
* Two of the five Cubs prospects injured in a car accident Jan. 6 in the Dominican Republic remained hospitalized. Kevin Encarnacion and Jose Zapata were both doing well but still receiving treatment. Encarnacion played at Class A Boise last year.
* Jorge Soler is 100 percent healthy after a leg injury shortened his season. Soler played in the Arizona Fall League but was told to take it easy, McLeod said. The outfielder has been impressive in his approach at the plate. On Wednesday, Soler said he missed too many games last year, and was eager to get back to playing.
* C.J. Edwards is trying to gain weight. At the Blackhawks game, the skinny pitcher ate an Italian sausage, cheese fries, and a hot dog with cheese on it. Said Edwards: “Anything I see, I eat.”
* Javy Baez knows fans are clamoring for him to get to the big leagues. He’s doing everything he can but everyone wants to know when.
“As soon as possible,” he said.
– Carrie Muskat
Kyle Hendricks knows the importance of a good education. Hendricks, honored on Saturday as the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year, returned to classes at Dartmouth last Monday to finish his degree. He’s majoring in economics with a minor in math.
“It’s tough,” Hendricks said about going back to school after a summer of baseball. “It’s fun being back and I still know some of the guys on the baseball team there. It’s definitely difficult being back in the classroom, taking classes.”
He’d rather focus on his fine-tuning his changeup, but he’ll graduate after this final semester and then it’ll be full time baseball.
Hendricks hasn’t received the amount of attention Javier Baez has. Baez was honored as the Cubs’ Minor League Player of the Year on Saturday after hitting 37 home runs and driving in 111 runs at Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee combined. Baez had an eye opening Spring Training with the big league team.
“The guy’s a super athlete,” said Cubs Minor League director Brandon Hyde of Baez. “There’s still a lot of developing left. Sometimes he gets big and tries to do too much but that’s just youth. As soon as he matures as a hitter and continues to grow, it’ll be scary.”
Baez, 20, was going to continue his season in the Arizona Fall League but the Cubs decided the shortstop needed some rest, so he will instead go home to Florida, but take part in two mini camps in Mesa, Ariz., in November and then January. He downplayed his impressive statistics this season.
“I was just trying to do my best every time I played on the field and tried to do good,” Baez said.
Hendricks was Baez’s teammate at Tennessee, and knows how to deal with the shortstop.
“Don’t leave it over the plate,” Hendricks said about pitching to Baez. “[If you do] it’s going to go a long way. He’s a real good player. I’m excited to be here and share this with him.”
Hyde said he’s not just impressed by Baez’s power but also his baserunning and defense. The errors he made were mainly because the shortstop tried to do too much, Hyde said.
“His instincts to play are off the charts,” Hyde said. “I think he’s just scratching the surface to be honest.”
Baez was the Cubs’ first-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. Hendricks, 23, was acquired in July 2012 from the Rangers in the Ryan Dempster deal.
“He was opening our eyes from the beginning,” Hyde said of the right-hander. “He’s unbelievably intelligent, knows how to attack hitters, knows hitters weaknesses, knows hitters strengths. He’s developing a better breaking ball. What an incredible year he had.”
Hendricks combined to go 13-4 with a 2.00 ERA and a complete-game shutout in 27 starts between Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. He struck out 128 batters and walked 34 over 166 1/3 innings pitched. The right-hander limited opponents to a .229 batting average.
Being at Wrigley Field on Saturday was eye opening for Hendricks.
“This is what you dream of, being on this field,” he said. “It’s awesome.”
For now, it’s back to school on Monday.
“This is my last quarter,” Hendricks said. “I have four classes and then I graduate. I figure while I have the opportunity, I might as well go back. It’s only a nine week quarter, so it’ll go by quick. It’ll go by quick.”
– Carrie Muskat
Javier Baez may not be playing in the Arizona Fall League but he will make at least two trips to Mesa, Ariz., to work with Cubs hitting coordinator Anthony Iapoce and others. Baez, the top prospect on MLB.com’s list of Cubs’ 20 prospects, also will play some second and some third base, but do so “at the right time,” Theo Epstein said Friday.
Baez, who be honored on Saturday as the Minor League Player of the Year, was on the Mesa Solar Sox roster for the AFL but the Cubs decided the shortstop needed a break from a long season at Class A Daytona and Double-A Tennessee. He hit 37 home runs and totaled 111 RBIs in 130 games combined.
“What I really like about him is his insincts of the game,” Epstein said. “[It's impressive] for a high school kid to show up in pro ball … to show a feel for the game, a feel to be a winning player. On defense, he’s got a great internal clock, and he knows how fast the runner is at first, he knows what he needs to do, how quick his release has to be on his throw. He was born with it. He showed that in high school and has carried that over into pro ball.”
Jason McLeod, director of scouting and player development, said if Baez did have to move from shortstop, that he felt second would be an easier transition.
“I don’t think any of us envisioned he’d hit 37 home runs,” McLeod said of Baez. “There are very few 20 year olds who did what he did.”
Kyle Hendricks will be honored as the Cubs’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year on Saturday as well in pre-game ceremonies. McLeod said the right-hander showed a strong ability to “dissect the plate” with his pitches. McLeod also was excited to see how C.J. Edwards, Corey Black and Pierce Johnson developed after strong seasons in the Minors.
As for third base, Kris Bryant, the team’s No. 1 pick in the June First-Year Player Draft, will play in the AFL. He will open next year in either Daytona or Tennessee. The Cubs have two other talented third baseman in Christian Villanueva and Jeimer Candelario. McLeod said Villanueva may be the best defensive third baseman in the organization. The Cubs also are eager to see what Mike Olt can do. He was acquired from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal, and will spend some time working out in Mesa.
– Carrie Muskat
Cubs Minor League 2013 leaders
Avg: Kevin Encarnacion, Boise, .319
Home runs: Javier Baez, Tennessee, 37
RBI: Baez, 111
Stolen bases: John Andreoli, Tennessee, 40
ERA: Kyle Hendricks, Iowa, 2.00 (37 ER/166 1/3 IP)
Wins: Hendricks, 13
Saves: Brian Schlitter, Iowa, 22
Strikeouts: Eric Jokisch, Tennessee, 137
Tim Torres hit a solo home run but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost 2-1 in the season finale to Nashville. Iowa finished at 66-78 and in third place in the PCL North Division. Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs over six innings. Dave Sappelt and Edwin Maysonet each had two hits.
Tennessee finished the regular season with a 4-3 loss to Chattanooga, but opens the playoffs on Thursday against Birmingham. It’ll be a best of five North Division Championship Series. On Monday, Christian Villanueva hit his 19th home run, a solo shot, and Tayler Davis had two hits, including a double. Eric Jokisch started and gave up three earned runs over 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven.
Daytona had Monday off and returns to action Tuesday in Game 1 of the FSL best of three Championship series against Dunedin. Corey Black is scheduled to start.
Scott Baker gave up two runs over 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Kane County, which won 5-4 over Peoria in the season finale. The Cougars finished 55-80 under manager Mark Johnson. Oliver Zapata hit a home run and Jeimer Candelario and Giuseppe Papaccio each had three hits.
Boise lost its season finale, 10-6, to Hillsboro. The Hawks open the Northwest League South Division playoff best of three series Tuesday against Salem-Keizer. Paul Blackburn is slated to start. On Monday, Rony Rodriguez had two hits and three RBIs and Shawon Dunston and David Bote each had multiple hits.
Kyle Hendricks gave up two runs over eight innings in Iowa’s 5-2 win over Omaha. Ty Wright had two hits and three RBIs. For Hendricks, the eight innings were a season high, and this was his third straight quality start. Brian Schlitter converted his 20th save.
Tennessee had the day off and returns to action Thursday against Chattanooga.
Kris Bryant and Dustin Geiger each hit home runs to help Daytona beat Dunedin, 6-2, and clinch the Florida State League second-half title in the first game of a doubleheader. Lendy Castillo threw 2 2/3 innings of relief for his second win. In the second game, Wes Darvill was 3-for-3 in Daytona’s 3-0 win. Bijan Rademacher had two RBIs.
Scott Baker had his best rehab outing, giving up one hit over five innings in Kane County’s 9-1 win over Cedar Rapids. Baker retired the first 13 batters he faced. Jeimer Candelario and Carlos Escobar each homered.
Jacob Rogers, Yasiel Balaguert and Justin Marra each homered to power Boise to a 10- win over Salem-Keizer. Marra finished with three RBIs.
Mesa had the day off and returns to action Thursday against the Diamondbacks.