Chicago Cubs should tap Kyle Hendricks, not Yu Darvish on Opening Day

Kyle Hendricks / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Kyle Hendricks / Chicago Cubs (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Kyle He ndricks / Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: This is the guy to set the tone for a season

You don’t have to be a loud, in-your-face personality to find success at the game’s highest levels. Case in point? Kyle Hendricks, the Dartmouth graduate who continues to cruise under the radar at the national level.

Over the last half decade, no one has been more dependable for Chicago than Hendricks. The right-hander carries a career 3.14 ERA in 162 starts to go along with a 7.16 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Hendricks has made his living painting the black and hitting his spots, despite a lack of velocity.

When I think of something the Cubs weren’t in the last two years, it’s consistent. Hendricks, meanwhile, has been – and likely will continue to be – a steadying presence atop the rotation. It’s not that Darvish can’t go out and dominate. He can and anyone who suggests otherwise is a fool.

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But Hendricks has walked the walk for a good long while now. Ross going with him over Darvish isn’t a knock on the latter – it’s a long overdue tip of the cap to a guy who’s been everything we could ever hope for in his career and who may very well be the elder statesman on the next great Cubs team.