CHICAGO (CBS) — Thursday marked day two for pitchers and catchers as the Cubs and White Sox begin Spring Training.
At Camelback Ranch, Tony La Russa shouldn’t have to worry about who’ll be closing games for the Sox. Liam Hendriks was the big offseason signing after back-to-back dominant seasons in Oakland.READ MORE: 2 Killed In High-Speed Crash On Southwest Side
Speaking of big, one thing that really stood out to Hendriks and his wife when they arrived at camp was the size of his new teammates – whom he wryly compared to some “Space Jam” movie villains.
“And she mentioned to me, she’s like, ‘Why are they all so big?’ Everyone’s a lot taller than me, which is very disconcerting,” said Hendriks – who stands 6 feet 1 inch, still taller than average height for a man in the world at large. “But they’re like the Monstars. They’re just a group of physically able guys out here that want to learn; want to win. And this is going to be a good group of guys; fun group of guys, and the fact that they’re young with a mixture of veterans, this is the makeup that you want to have on paper leading into a season.”
In Mesa, the Cubs rotation will have a much different look in 2021. Alec Mills is back and fighting for a spot as one of their five starters.READ MORE: Seniors Can Schedule COVID Vaccine Appointments At The United Center Beginning Thursday
Mills had an ERA around 4 1/2 in 11 starts last year, headlined by a no-hitter.
This year, he looks to be more consistent. So he’s leaning on one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball, Kyle Hendricks, for advice.
“I think the one thing that I really kind of dive into is his routine in between starts; see how he kind of attacks in between starts. You know, what are his thoughts in the bullpen? What are his thoughts as far as what he needs to do to be, you know, the same pitcher every five days for the whole year?” Mills said. “I think for me, that’s something that’s going to make me successful.”MORE NEWS: Career Coach: Avoiding Scams While Job Searching
Mills said he still hasn’t rewatched his no-hitter – the 16th in Cubs history – and it hasn’t completely sunk in that he did it.