Getting Hendricks Back on Track, IFA Breakouts, Love for Strop, and Other Bullets

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Getting Hendricks Back on Track, IFA Breakouts, Love for Strop, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Well, a day later, the sickness that felled The Wife this weekend took me down. I did not have a good night last night. I do not project to have a good day today. I will be grinding as best I can, but I will also be finding time to rest.

In the meantime, I want to reiterate that the 2018 BN Blogathon is now live, as we raise funds for Make-A-Wish! Please go here, read up on the crazy coverage that’s coming, and consider donating to a very worthy cause.

  • Kyle Hendricks will try again today to figure out what has been betraying him in his mechanics this season, yielding an unsustainably high homer rate, and walks like we’ve never seen from him before. As he told after his ugly last start: “It hasn’t felt right for the last few outings. We go through the same process – watch video and see what’s going bad and go back and look at good video from the playoffs last year or two years ago. We’re trying to overlay video or [play it] side by side to see what I feel with what we see in the video. Then we all go out and take it out to throw. It’s every day, focusing on every throw. When you’ve got bad habits, you’ve got to take advantage of repetition to get the good habits going again.”
  • Hendricks and Joe Maddon insist there is not health-related concerns (as there were last year when he mechanics got out of whack thanks to tendinitis in his middle finger), so there’s reasonable hope that one of these starts, something is just going to click, and we’ll see normal Kyle Hendricks again. Consistently repeating his optimal mechanics is key for a guy like Hendricks, who relies on pinpoint command and deception (especially as his pitches tunnel together). He simply can’t be successful if he’s wild in and out of the zone.
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
  • With the open of the new IFA period yesterday, and most of the top prospects already signed (including several new Cubs prospects), I went back a few years to the last time the Cubs blew out their bonus pool (when you could do that) in 2015 to kinda see how those prospects are doing now, and also to see to what extent other prospects around the game have made a name for themselves – and it’s wild! I’d forgotten how big on names that class was, with guys like Eddy Julio Martinez and Lazarito and Yadier Alvarez and Lucius Fox and Vlad Guerrero, Jr. In addition to Martinez, the Cubs’ class included guys like Miguel Amaya and Aramis Ademan, who’ve already established themselves as quality prospects in the system, but also guys like Jonathan Sierra and Jonathan Perlaza, who are still working on it.
  • But the name that really stands out, behind so many of those guys and ranked 25th in the class: Juan Soto, who is already starring for the Washington Nationals. Pretty incredible how rapid his ascent has been, and how he was not at the top of that class.
  • Carl Edwards Jr. had his second rehab outing last night with the Iowa Cubs, and it did not go well in the results column, with Edward largely unable to throw strikes. You’ll have that sometimes, especially when working yourself back into game shape, but it’s a little unnerving nevertheless. I wonder if he’ll now need another rehab outing.
  • Anthony Rizzo narrates the story of his alma mater’s baseball team helped the school heal after the horrible shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School:

  • Hats to the left:

  • Jesus Aguillar may be having a great year at the plate, but running the bases is not his forte:

  • Heh, I liked it:

  • Michael having some fun:

I could so binge watch this. #EverybodyIn #Cubs #JavyBaez

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Author: Brett Taylor

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