Chicago Cubs: Kyle Hendricks is the real ace of this pitching staff

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

As is the case with many of his Chicago Cubs teammates, Kyle Hendricks’ season has been a tale of two halves. The good news? He’s only growing stronger.

Pre-All Star Break Kyle Hendricks is perhaps the worst he has been while wearing a Chicago Cubs uniform. Plain and simple, the right-hander struggled mightily with his location and was not fooling anyone at the plate.

Hendricks’ 2.53 BB/9 rate was very un-Professor like. Hendricks surrendered 31 walks in the first half and on five occasions he walked three or more batters in a game.

More concerning however was Hendricks’ inability to keep the ball in the park. He posted a 1.39 HR/9 rate before the Midsummer Classic, which is the highest it’s ever been. Hendricks gave up 17 home runs, tied for the sixth-most in the National League. All of these struggles culminated in  a 3.92 ERA and a 0.8 WAR.

Now, you’re probably sitting there after reading that saying how can Hendricks be the ace of the Cubs pitching staff with numbers like that. Well in the second half of the season, Hendricks has looked more like the guy who nearly won the Cy Young Award two years ago.