Kyle Hendricks looked scary good today against the Athletics, going 4 innings with five strikeouts, one walk and one hit. I’m always hesitant to get too excited (or worried) based on a player’s results in spring training games, but Kyle was throwing strikes today with ease. He’s under team control through 2017 and received a small bump in pay this year due to his 2016 performance. He is motivated to perform well this year, not only to increase his market value, but also because he finds himself in a unique and envious position as a young (26 years old) pitcher in the starting rotation for a Cubs club that is positioned to be a contender for a championship. Look for him to build on his 2016 year and only get better as the season progresses.
The Cubs offense today was lead by 22 year-old Jeimer Candelario as he continued his hot hitting going 3 for 4, which included one home run (video below), an infield single (that he hustled to beat out) and a double. This kid is really beginning to turn some heads in the Cactus League and it’s good to see another Cubs prospect starting to look ready to make the transition to the majors. According to Baseball America, Jeimer is the Cubs 10th best prospect and now we all know why. I’d love to see him get some time at the big league level but he’s a third baseman and, as we all know, the Cubs are flush with infield talent. It will be interesting though to watch him develop and see where he lands.
Video highlight of Candelario home run:
Chipping in offensively today, Anthony Rizzo continues to swing a solid bat going 1 for 2 with a double and a run in the first inning. John Andreoli had a solo shot in the seventh inning. He’s batting .316 in Cactus League play this year.
Going into the ninth inning the Cubs were cruising with a 3-0 lead. Hector Rondon, going for the save, gave up three runs in the bottom half of the inning. The game ended in a tie. With the exception of the final inning, the Cubs played great.
The Cubs host the Padres tomorrow at Sloan Park. Jake Arrieta will make his second appearance of the spring. The game begins at 3:05 CST and will not be televised. I’ll be at the game providing video highlights and updates from my Twitter account.