Kyle Hendricks’ slow start and decreased velocity prompted Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs to take a closer look at the mechanics of the young Cubs ace, noting differences in his back foot placement between this year and last year.
Hendricks, Karl to his teammates, also changed his release point to throw more over the top, although that adjustment actually occurred this past September.
I’m not sure what to make of this change because it didn’t hurt his performance late last season. Some might even suggest that the modulation in horizontal release point helped him, as he struck out 9 batters per game then and pitched exceptionally well in October.
The takeaway here is that Hendricks tweaked his mechanics last September, and the extent to which it influenced his performance — for better or worse — is unclear. Stay tuned as we continue to shake the Magic 8 Ball for more answers.