Tha Sports Junkies 101

The Emergence Of Kyle Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks AshMarshall via


Kyle Hendricks

NL ERA leader Kyle Hendricks has emerged as a top of the rotation starter for the Cubs

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks is putting together a possible Cy Young season but he is going about it in a different way than most pitchers these days.

Hendricks throws a combination of cutters, change-up and sinkers to keep hitters off-balance. 184 outs recorded by Hendricks this season has come via the ground ball. That is the 23rd most by a pitcher so far this season. Along with his secondary pitches, Hendricks also throws a fastball that sits around 90 MPH. While this is considered below average in the majors, Kyle is very good at locating his pitches so that his fastballs miss bats.

In 25 starts this season, Hendricks has an NL best 2.09 ERA to go along with his 13-7 record. By having a better ERA than players like Madison Bumgarner and his own teammate Jake Arrieta, Hendricks has propelled himself into the number 3 spot in the Cubs rotation.

Kyle’s major league career started when the Cubs traded both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland A’s in 2014. That trade left holes in the Cubs rotation that was in-part filled by Hendricks. The young righty earned his call-up by being named the Cubs minor league pitcher of the year in 2013.

Before joining the Cubs, Hendricks was drafted in the 8th round of the 2011 draft by the Texas Rangers. He became a Cub when Chicago dealt pitcher Ryan Dempster to Texas in exchange for Hendricks and another player. Kyle quickly made his way through the minors and made his MLB début on July 10th, 2014. He made 13 starts in 2014 and earned 7 wins to only 2 losses while pitching to a 2.46 ERA.

2015 was Hendricks’ first full season in the majors. He made 32 starts for the Cubs and finished the season with a 8-7 record and a 3.95 ERA. This solid performance kept Hendricks in the big leagues. It’s good that the Cubs kept Hendricks in the majors because he has 139 strikeouts in 159 innings to go along with his sparkling ERA.

Kyle Hendricks has been a pleasant surprise for the Cubs this season. The organization expected him to be a solid 5 starter this season but the way he is pitching now, he could easily be an ace for some teams. With Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester ahead of Hendricks in the rotation, the Cubs are stacked 1-3 in the rotation. This three-headed monster could prove very valuable once the Cubs make the playoffs in 2016.