Throughout spring training Cubs minor league pitcher of the year Kyle Hendricks will provide a player’s diary of his first big league camp. At the beginning of camp Hendricks and other rookies were asked by manager Rick Renteria to perform a song in front of the team. First they had to form a band.
MESA, Ariz -- Our band, Cubs and Roses, performed (Thursday) and we’re announcing our World Tour soon. We were called up in front of the team. It was a rock star performance. We had everyone laughing. Darwin Barney wrote a lot of the lyrics. It was a really funny song put to “Wagon Wheel.”
Everyone loved it. I was lead vocals. Darwin Barney played on the drums. First they had me on guitar, then on drums then lead vocals. It was pretty much whatever they needed. The manager loved it. Definitely exceeded expectations.
On Tuesday, before the intrasquad game, we played golf with the guys. That kind of wore us out so we went home and chilled and went to bed early. On Wednesday we just went through our usual routine before pitching. There were a good amount of fans in the stands so that was pretty cool. It was fun facing teammates, fun atmosphere. And Eric Jokisch is my roommate so it was fun facing off against him. And we had some success, so that was cool.
Now that games are starting Renteria is telling us to be ready for different plays. Teams will be trying different things to prepare for the season and he wants us to execute and be ready. Above all he wants us to go out there and have fun and compete. For us pitchers we start to get into our five-day routines. That’ll be nice compared to minor league camp, you didn’t know when you were going to pitch next, but now we have the whole schedule. I’m throwing Tuesday against the A’s, so actually it’s a six-day week for me this first time. I think I’ll go three innings. When we’re not playing we’ll watch for five innings.
Other than that we just had a pool tournament put on by the clubhouse guys. Jason Morris, one of the strength coaches, and I, we won. I brought in a ringer. He was good. I played OK but he carried us. There’s been a lot of bonding going on. There’s always stuff going on so guys are getting to know each other.