Cubs Road Ahead: Hendricks, Wada take the hill against Padres

Cubs Road Ahead: Hendricks, Wada take the hill against Padres
July 21, 2014, 10:45 pm
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The time is closing in on the Cubs' youth arriving at Wrigley Field, and this week that means a pair of rookie pitchers taking the hill at the Friendly Confines. Check out what Comcast SportsNet's David Kaplan and Patrick Mooney had to say about the Cubs' second half in the Cubs Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Honda Dealers.

The Cubs are off to an ugly start in the second half of the season, dropping three straight in Arizona, and are hoping that a return back to Wrigley Field can reverse their fortunes.

The North Siders will play their next 10 games at the Friendly Confines, and those contests will feature a new back-end of the rotation that includes 24-year-old rookie Kyle Hendricks and 33-year-old Tsuyoshi Wada.

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For Hendricks, the remainder of the 2014 season will be an audition for the 2015 rotation, and Insider Patrick Mooney believes the talented right-hander has a chance to make some noise.

"He has a really nice opportunity to prove himself in the big leagues, audition for next year's rotation, and the Cubs have been pretty upfront that we want to slot this guy in here and give him a nice run," Mooney told David Kaplan in the Cubs Road Ahead. "He shouldn't be looking over his shoulder, and really he's going to become one of the bigger storylines here in the second half of the season."

Wada, 33, looked good in his Cubs debut earlier this month, throwing five innings of one-run ball in the Cubs' 6-5 loss to the Reds. The left-hander never lived up to his $8 million contract in Baltimore but a change of scenery could serve him well.

"He was a really decorated pitcher in Japan - he was the league's MVP over there in 2010 - and really he's an interesting guy to watch," Mooney said, "that if he figures it out here maybe the Cubs have an interesting piece, either in-house or a possible trade chip down the road."

See what else Kaplan and Mooney had to say, including predictions on when Jorge Soler may be called up, in the video above.