Cubs 2013 minor league pitcher of the year Kyle Hendricks will do a spring training diary for ESPNChicago.com. He'll take you inside and outside the clubhouse in his first big-league spring camp and share his experiences in this diary regularly throughout spring training. Here is his first:
MESA, Ariz -- I actually drove to spring training with my dad a couple weeks ago from Southern California. It took about five hours. We came right over here right away. I walked my dad through the spring complex, it was the first time I had seen it also. Obviously, it got me real excited to come here every morning and do what we've been doing now for the last two weeks.
Once camp started [manager] Ricky [Renteria] was going to have us rookies do something being first-year camp guys. So [teammates] Eric Jokisch, Carlos Pimental, me and they have a veteran, John Baker, in with us. We have to come up with a band name and we have to perform a song about the Cubs on guitar. I've only been playing for two weeks! The band name is "Cubs and Roses."
Jokisch and I live together with [pitcher] Dallas Beeler so we've been at home practicing. We're going to play "Wagon Wheel," the tune of it. But we have to make up all our own words. The name of the song is going to be something like "Your average Cubs fan." It's going to talk about Cubs fans and stuff like that. That's what we've been doing much pretty much at night.
I had some family in town so I missed a golf outing with the guys earlier this week, but usually after I leave the facility we've been playing a lot of pool, me and my roommates. We're getting hooked on that. And then Beeler and I got out here a few days before Jokisch so we went and bought fishing poles. We live near Tempe Town Lake. Been out five to six times, haven't caught a thing yet. Something is off. Maybe we're in a bad spot to fish.
At camp we've been throwing every other day, in some aspect. Either live batting practice or in the bullpen. In between those days you try to take it light. You want to build arm strength, but you also want to save yourself for those days you're on the mound against hitters. I had a bullpen [Friday], I'll throw another bullpen Sunday and then get ready for the intra-squad game on [Wednesday]. I'm facing Jokisch in that one.
That's about it for my first entry. I'll keep you up to date on things and let you know how our song goes next week. Thanks for reading.