Let’s talk about Kyle Hendricks. The guy is awesome. He is 15-7 on the season, has an MLB-best 2.03 ERA, and almost threw a no hitter Monday against the Cardinals. So why aren’t people talking about him on a national level?
Easy answer? He’s not a “sexy” pitcher. He doesn’t throw mid to upper 90’s with a nasty curve ball. Instead, he throws between 89-91 and hits almost every spot with all 4 pitches he throws. Hendricks has incredible command, and that command has placed him on the fringe of the NL Cy Young debate. But he should be in the middle of the discussion, not just on the edge.
Hendricks is in or around the top 10 in the MLB in every pitching category, is 15-7 on the year with a 2.03 ERA. He has been fantastic in the 2nd half, in fact he has stranded 97.9% of base runners he has allowed on base since the all-star break (h/t @FullCountTommy https://twitter.com/FullCountTommy/status/775760313178267648) which equates to 1 or 2 runs. The rest of his runs allowed have come on solo homers. In short, he has been INCREDIBLE. In Hendrick’s last 15 starts, he is 10-1 with a 1.25 ERA in 93.1 innings pitched, having only allowed 13 runs in that stretch. His WHIP in those last 15 games is just .091. This guy deserves to be in the Cy Young race, if not the front runner. If he threw 95 instead of 89, you can bet he would be the favorite.
It is unfortunate that he isn’t as big a part of the discussion as guys like Max Scherzer, Madison Bumgarner, and Noah Syndergaard, but at least he is getting some talk. That near no hitter helped a lot, in that regard. If he has another great start or 2, he will certainly have a shot at winning the trophy. However, despite all this talk about a potential Cy Young, I would bet all of my money that a guy like Hendricks cares a lot more about making a deep playoff run than an individual award, and he would certainly give it up for a World Series ring. It’s amazing that a guy with numbers like Hendricks can be as underrated as he is right now.
Also, quick shout out to the Texas Rangers for giving him to the Cubs in the Ryan Dempster trade.
And another quick shout out, this one to Ryan Dempster. Thanks for vetoing your first trade offer to the Braves!