Now Warming: Behind the scenes on Kyle Hendricks’ between-starts and pregame routine
Thursday evening marks Kyle Hendricks’ 221st start in a Cubs uniform and his 112th at Wrigley Field.
Throughout that time, “The Professor” has earned the label as one of the most cerebral pitchers in the game, finding ways to maximize his stuff on the hill and shut down the opponent.
But that work doesn’t happen only on the days he pitches.
It’s the routine between starts and the pregame work that has helped him notch 86 victories and a career 3.45 ERA.
Hendricks recently took Marquee Sports Network behind the scenes on his work leading up to a start — a routine he has honed over his 9 years in the majors. He has had plenty of great teachers along the way, learning from the likes of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey to develop what works for him.
As he has aged, the 32-year-old has modified his between-starts routine to keep his body — and specifically his arm — fresh. He no longer picks up a baseball on the first day after a start, instead treating that day entirely for recovery.
On Day 2, Hendricks plays some light catch and focuses on lifting — particularly for his legs and lower half. Then Day 3 is usually when he gets off the mound for a bullpen.
Hendricks also explained his tradition with Jason Heyward before taking the field on start days. Heyward is on the IL currently but when he’s healthy, Hendricks usually makes eye contact with Heyward at the other end of the dugout and the two head onto the diamond together.
Catch the entire feature with Hendricks in the video above and check out “Due Up,” the hitter’s version of this series: