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kyle hendricks cubs featureI am in Chicago as of well past midnight last night. It took me about three hours longer than usual thanks to one semi that sheared off the side of another semi (literally – it was pretty wild to see). I am comfortable speaking flippantly about the accident, because I later learned that no one was hurt.

Because I am in Chicago this weekend, I will be at today’s game (right field bleachers, down by the LED board – blue BN shirt, blue/yellow shoes – come say hey). I will also be at tomorrow’s game (in the bowl, behind the Braves’ dugout, with a good friend who is a Braves fan). And then on Sunday, I will be The Game 87.7 at 10am CT, so you should tune in for that. I’ll be on Jordan Bernfield’s show, which is thoroughly awesome, and John Arguello from Cubs Den will be on as well. Should be a great time – you can listen online at The Game’s site if you’re not able to get it on your FM’er.

  • As you watched Kyle Hendricks in the first inning yesterday, you had a pit in your stomach. This young man, with a great deal of potential, appeared to unraveling under the weight of the moment, the tight strike zone, and the fact that it was the first damn inning. That makes what followed all the more impressive. Over the next five innings, Hendricks gave up just two hits – both to Ryan Ludwick – hit a batter, and struck out seven – including striking out the side in his final inning, all swinging. Early take on Hendricks’ stuff: it must be pretty good, given how many swings and misses he got. The changeup looked fantastic to my eye. If his command and control improve to where we think they can be … yeah, he looked good. Caveats: (1) The command really was lacking. Even on some of his swings and misses, Hendricks was missing his spots; (2) This was a very softened Reds lineup; and (3) The first inning counts, too. But, still, I was pretty impressed. Although he was optioned after the game in advance of the All-Star break, and the Cubs presently have just two spots in the rotation for Hendricks/Beeler/Wada/Straily, I think you can count on Hendricks getting one of those spots for the foreseeable future. Right now, he’s the guy you want to see getting an extended look.
  • Masahiro Tanaka’s injury, it turns out, is indeed a partially torn UCL. It seems that 10 times out of 10, that eventually leads to Tommy John surgery, but the Yankees are apparently going to try treatment for now, in the hopes that he can still pitch later this year (Tanaka will be out for six to eight weeks either way). The only example that most folks can come up with for a guy who had a partial UCL tear, opted for treatment, and then pitched for a while is Adam Wainwright. Eventually, though, he had TJS. It’s up to Tanaka and the Yankees, but it seems like they are merely forestalling the inevitable at the potential expense of all of next season, and possibly an early chunk of the 2016 season, too. In the meantime, I’m not sure we’ll see the Yankees pick up a costly starter at this point, but you wonder if they’d have interest in a guy with multiple years of control (in case of the worst). Still not sure Edwin Jackson is that guy, though.
  • Shortly after Anthony Rizzo won the final vote to be added to the All-Star team yesterday, Troy Tulowitzki made his final Home Run Derby selection: not Anthony Rizzo. I actually kinda thought he was waiting for the outcome of the vote to make his selection, and I now think it’s been confirmed that he was … but not in the way that I thought. That is to say, I kinda think Tulo was planning to give the “other” guy the Derby nod, given that each of Rizzo and Justin Morneau, whom Tulo selected, were running neck-and-neck in the final vote, and each would be a reasonable Derby selection. Now they both get to go. I suppose it’s the nice thing to do, but: Rizzo, 20 homers. Morneau, 13 homers. Come on.
  • Ben Lindbergh is leaving BP for Grantland.
  • In case you missed Anthony Rizzo’s throw-down yesterday:

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