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Hendricks’ Follow-Up, Lester’s Debut, Schwarber’s Birthday, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

I overheard The Little Girl explaining to The Little Boy this morning that, “The earth is out in space, and we are on the earth, so we are all out in space,” and my heart exploded both because it was a wonderful logical syllogism, but also because space is cool, man.

  • It’ll be a different mindset for Kyle Hendricks coming into 2017, now that he’s a Cy Young finalist, and far from overlooked by the national masses (and, let’s be honest, many Cubs fans). He talked about keeping that edge, and always trying to improve at CSN and Cubs.com. Improving too much on last season’s ERA (2.13) might not be realistic, but if Hendricks continues to improve the quality and reliability of his four-seamer and his curveball, his ability to work deeper into games is going to tick up even further, and he may be able to improve on the 190.0 innings he threw in 2016. He already took a pretty significant step forward on that front in 2016, consistently working through at least six innings – something you’ll recall was a bit of a bugaboo in 2015, when the third time through the order would frequently bite him.

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  • From Hendricks to the other Cy Young finalist from 2016, Jon Lester makes his spring debut today for the Cubs. He’ll hopefully get in his two or so innings of work in the most boring fashion possible. Also, maybe he picks someone off with a killer move, thus quashing any and all discussion before it can begin, and so thoroughly terrifying all future baserunners that no one even tries to get one of those insanely large leads against him this year.
  • Javy Baez is about to head out to join Team Puerto Rico for the World Baseball Classic. Today will be his last day with the Cubs before he departs for an undetermined amount of time, and he gets to lead off. The WBC runs through March 22, albeit with periodic breaks here and there.
  • Anthony Rizzo (back) tells Carrie Muskat he expects to play tomorrow.
  • Although David Ross is getting the “Dancing with the Stars” gig, Addison Russell says he’s pretty sure he’s the best dancer on the Cubs now that Travis Wood is gone (Tribune). Hard to argue with him, though Justin Grimm’s been known to bust it out.
  • Stephen Strasburg is toying around with abandoning the windup altogether, and simply pitching from the stretch this year. It’s an interesting discussion, since, for him, the windup can sometimes throw his mechanics off – it makes you wonder how many other pitchers might benefit from being a little less traditional.
  • If you missed it earlier, big changes are coming to Statcast this year.

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  • Happy birthday, beast:

  • Ummmm holy crap guy:

https://twitter.com/flippingbats/status/838401414833537025


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  • This is not a hockey site, so this really doesn’t have a place here (well, no more than when I talk about trailers for ‘Alien: Covenant’ anyway). But, I mean, I saw this come across my feed last night, and I had to share it. I think this is just ridiculous:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.