SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Kyle Hendricks, who’s starting today for the Cubs, is working on a new curveball, writes Sahadev Sharma of the Athletic ($):
“I want to make it more than just a backdoor pitch to left-handed hitters,” Hendricks said. “I could use it to righties, I could put it different places. Just expand my repertoire a little bit. A backdoor curveball is just one curveball, that’s the only one I had. Now I may have three or four. Back foot to the lefty, bounce one to the righty, I just don’t have that feel with it right now. The more options I can have, the better it will be.”
According to the article, Hendricks has been working on these new types of pitches in side sessions. You might wind up seeing some of them in today’s game, when Hendricks will likely throw four innings, perhaps five if he’s as efficient as Jon Lester was in Friday’s game.
Adding a selection of curves to the excellent changeup Hendricks already has could make him even more effective, even with a fastball that doesn’t usually break 90.
As you know, Hendricks has been one of my favorites ever since he joined the Cubs organization. I love his approach to pitching and the fact that he’s smart enough to figure out ways to succeed without a 95-plus fastball that most pitchers seem to rely on these days.
Hendricks is 28 and could be primed for his best season yet.
Here are today’s particulars.
Heyward RF, Bryant 3B, Zobrist LF, Schwarber DH, Almora CF, La Stella 2B, Caratini C, Freeman SS, Court 1B
White Sox lineup:
Moncada 2B, Garcia RF, Abreu 1B, Delmonico LF, Castillo C, Anderson SS, Sanchez 3B, Adolfo DH, Engel CF
No Eloy Jimenez for the Sox today, as he’s apparently got a minor knee issue.
As noted above, Kyle Hendricks gets the start for the Cubs. Cubs relievers today: Carl Edwards Jr., Cory Mazzoni, Randy Rosario, Michael Roth and. Daniel Camarena.
Lucas Giolito gets the call for the White Sox. Other pitchers on the White Sox list for this afternoon: Luis Avilan, Juan Minaya, Danny Farquhar, Bruce Rondon, Rob Scahill, Nate Jones and Xavier Cedeno.
The Cubs are a split squad today. The other split squad will play the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch at 8:05 p.m CT tonight. There will be a full recap of this afternoon’s game posted as soon as possible after the game, then a preview of the night game will post separately at 7 p.m. CT.
Today’s game is on 670 The Score with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer. It’s being televised by WGN-TV, with the Sox announcers.
Please note that during spring training, Gameday doesn't usually go pitch-by-pitch as it does during the regular season -- usually, it will update after each at-bat.
Please visit our SB Nation White Sox site South Side Sox. If you do go there to interact with White Sox fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.
For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at five minutes to game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today, that will be 2 p.m. CT and 3:30 p.m. CT.
These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page. There will also be a StoryStream on the front page with all the game thread links, as well as the recap after the game is over. The pitcher boxes and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.
Discuss amongst yourselves.