By Bruce Levine-
MESA, Ariz. (CBS) — Kyle Hendricks may be a long shot to make the Chicago Cub rotation, however the young pitcher has made a good impression on the teams staff this spring.
Hendricks allowed two runs in his three innings of work on Sunday against Milwaukee. He was acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Ryan Dempster trade in July of 2012. Striking out Ryan Braun in the first inning gave Hendricks the feeling he was pitching in the big leagues for the first time.
“A lot of it (confidence) came after that,” Hendricks said. “It was all around much better than my first outing.”
Hendricks was named minor league pitcher of the year in the Cub organization last season. He posted a combined 13-4 record (2.00 ERA )between Double and Triple A. So far this spring he has started two games allowing three earned runs in five innings.
Four rotation spots seem to be locked in with three weeks to go before opening day. Jason Hammel appears to be the fourth starter behind Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson. Jake Arrieta threw a bullpen session on Sunday but may need to start the season on the DL. Arrieta started late due to shoulder soreness in early February. Factually no Cub starting pitcher has won more than 10 games in a season since 2010, leaving plenty of room for the best young arms, like Hendricks to make there way through the system.