MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko reports that left-hander Mark Hendrickson will throw for the Orioles next week at the team’s mini-camp at Camden Yards.
Hendrickson, 38, was out of baseball last season and posted a 5.73 ERA in eight appearances with the Orioles during his last stint in the majors in 2011. He’s now throwing as a sidearmer at the advice of Buck Showalter, an interesting concept given his 6-foot-9 frame, so the Orioles could give him a spring training invite if they like what they see.
Hendrickson owns a 5.03 ERA over 10 seasons in the major leagues between stops with Rays, Orioles, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Marlins.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.