Spring Training Notebooks

Cubs Spring Training Notebook: Lineup for spring opener and Kyle Hendricks gets back on the mound

1 year agoAndy Martinez

MESA, Ariz. — For the first time since July 5, 2022, Kyle Hendricks touched a mound.

“First real fun I’ve had in 7 and a half months — who’s counting, though?” Hendricks said. “But nah, it was so fun just to be out there.”

Hendricks threw a 10 to 12-pitch bullpen session at the Cubs’ facilities at Sloan Park on Friday as he recovers from a capsular tear in his right shoulder. Yan Gomes was scheduled to be off from catching Friday, with Dom Nuñez the one catching Hendricks’ ‘pen. But Gomes made it a point to go out and catch the bullpen for him.

“It helped a lot having Yan back there,” Hendricks said. “That’s why I was super thankful for him coming over there. He knows me. He knows what to expect. He told me right away, ‘man, that’s you.’”

Throughout the injury process, Hendricks had been looking to fine-tune his mechanics — he mentioned he was getting long with his arm motion and wanted to shorten the arm path in his delivery. The new-look motion was on display Friday.

“That was the other big positive from today with the coaches standing back there was just how much everything translated from the work I’ve been doing,” Hendricks said. “When I start getting after it more and getting to a full bullpen, that should translate even more. So yeah, we’re very happy how that’s moved over to the mound now.”

For Hendricks comes the even more challenging part: being patient. After throwing on the mound and seeing actual results both anecdotally from Gomes and with a radar gun, Hendricks now must go through the standard recovery process ahead of his next bullpen session.

“Luckily, I can be patient when I need to be so I just have to lock in on the process,” Hendricks said. “I have everyone around here  helping me and keeping me on path which helps a ton. Yeah, just taking it one day at a time.”

Excitement for spring opener

The next step in spring comes Saturday, as the Cubs begin Cactus League play against the Giants at Sloan Park. Manager David Ross shared the starters, which seemed to look like a preview for who could be on the field on Opening Day at Wrigley Field.

Here are the starting position players behind pitcher Marcus Stroman:

C – Yan Gomes

1B – Eric Hosmer

2B – Nico Hoerner

SS – Dansby Swanson

3B – Patrick Wisdom

LF – Ian Happ

CF – Cody Bellinger

RF – Seiya Suzuki

Trey Mancini will DH and Adrian Sampson will piggyback Stroman.

“Really excited to put on the full unis and get out there and compete against another team,” Ross said. “This is just another one of those steps towards getting ready to head towards Chicago. It’s gonna be nice to have the boys out there and everybody and get to actually compete see what these new rules like. It’s always fun to compete — that’s why we do this. Tomorrow’s the start of that.”

Front office moves

The Cubs announced a series of promotions in their baseball operations on Friday. Arguably the biggest was Craig Breslow being elevated to the role of assistant general manager/senior vice president, pitching. Breslow has been credited with much of the recent success with homegrown pitchers and their development.

Greg Davey was promoted to vice president, baseball operations. He joined the organization in 2013 and was most recently director, baseball operations.

Here’s the full list of promotions.

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