Spring Training Miscellany: Hendricks Finally Throws Off the Mound Again, Pace of Play on Day One, More

The last day before the Cubs start their march toward the Cactus League crown. Bell rings tomorrow.

Meanwhile …

  • The two games today were the first ever with a pitch clock (and shift restrictions, and larger bases, and pick-off limits). I watched a few innings of the Padres-Mariners game, and, outside of the size of the way-too-large pitch clock that was visible on the broadcast, I thought it was great. Exactly as intended.
  • These are just two data points and we can’t really take anything away from it, but since it was the very first day, I think it was fair for Passan to note:
  • I will add that the length of game is not necessarily the PRIMARY factor here. Maybe it is for some folks, but for me, it’s all about the loss of dead time – more pace of action in the game. Sure, a natural byproduct is going to be a reduction in game time, and sure, a 3 hour and 15 minute game is just too long most of the time for most people. But for me, and I think for a lot of people, the desire is just to keep things moving along at a nice clip. I think that’s going to happen this year, regardless of average game time.
  • For the first time in a long time, Kyle Hendricks today threw off the mound. I’m not great at identifying small changes in pitch or swing mechanics, but even I can see there’s a pretty dramatic change in Hendricks’ arm stroke after he gathers:
  • It was just the beginning, and there’s a long way to go before we’d see Hendricks in games. But it went well:
  • https://twitter.com/MLBastian/status/1629216441114275841

  • Hendricks’ catcher, Yan Gomes, also thought it went well (Sun-Times): “He knows me, he knows what to expect,” Hendricks said. “And he told me right away, ‘Man, that’s you.’ Action was good, angle, at the bottom of the zone, throwing strikes, over the plate. So, really, I couldn’t ask for any more out of today.”
  • Watch this thing just TURN:
  • Brendon Little is in the lefty relief competition and shouldn’t be forgotten:
  • Some visuals from Jordan Bastian:
  • https://twitter.com/MLBastian/status/1629243167890370562

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    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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