2014 has been a fairly successful season for the Cubs, and it sounds like manager Rick Renteria will get at least one more year with the club.
Before Friday night’s game against the Brewers, Theo Epstein told the media that Renteria “absolutely” would be back as manager in 2015.
The Cubs saw big rebound years from Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo under Renteria, so I’m not surprised to hear he will be returning. There may be changes to the coaching staff, but the skipper has earned another shot.
I’m still not sure whether Renteria is the long-term answer. He was signed to a three-year deal after Dale Sveum was fired last season. Hopefully we will see even more progress from this young Cubs squad next year.
Hendricks will not pitch Sunday
Originally slated to pitch the final game of the season, Kyle Hendricks will not get one more start this year. Jacob Turner will take the mound on Sunday in Hendricks’ place.
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me. Hendricks has pitched a career-high 180-plus innings between Triple-A Iowa and Chicago, so it makes sense to shut him down now.
Hendricks had a great rookie campaign with the Cubs, using his excellent control to dominate the competition. He finishes with an ERA of 2.46 in 80 big-league innings.
One of the big story lines next year will be whether Hendricks will be able to keep up his success. He gives up a lot of contact, so he could see his luck change.
But it would be huge if he could turn himself into a solid No. 3 pitcher.
* Mike Olt might start playing some outfield. With waves up talent coming through the system, it seemed unlikely that Olt would be able to stick at third in the future. Once Kris Bryant joins the Cubs next year, Olt could find himself serving as a pinch-hitter to be used against lefties. We’ll have to see if he’ll be able to stick or if he’ll be the next Josh Vitters.
* Javier Baez had a nice game in Friday’s 6-4 win over the Brewers. He went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, with only one strikeout. We keep waiting for him to break out. Maybe we’ll see it these final three games of the season?
* The bullpen did a solid job once again on Friday. After Eric Jockisch went only four innings in his first start of the year with the Cubs, the bullpen pitched five innings, giving up two runs with seven strikeouts and zero walks. Hector Rondon picked up another save (his 28th) with a clean inning.