(670 The Score) Cubs rotation mates Kyle Hendricks and Zach Davies have some similarities in their pitching styles, starting with velocity that’s less than the MLB average and their cerebral natures.
"When you look at these guys and their frames, they have probably been the underdogs their whole life in baseball,” manager David Ross said. “You know when they get to this level and have had success, the mentality is right where it needs to be as well as the confidence level and belief in what they do. There is an exciting part of the fact that pitchability is another way to get outs. I think there is an excitement for these guys to go out and prove what they always have had to prove.”
Davies, 28, is a newcomer to the Cubs, having joined them in the trade in which Chicago sent ace Yu Darvish to San Diego in late December. Davies is familiar with the NL Central, having established himself with the Brewers from 2015-’19. He has a career 3.79 ERA and had a strong season with the Padres in 2020, posting a 2.73 ERA in 12 starts.
Davies is now set to be one of the top three pitchers in the Cubs’ rotation, and he’s already sharing philosophical ideas with Hendricks. The two have lockers next to one another.
"The Cubs put our lockers right next to each other, so they understand the comparisons too,” Davies said.
"We have talked a lot, but it's been mostly about getting to know the organization so far on my part. The conversation will evolve over the year as we go over different teams and different lineups.”
Davies sees value in sharing thoughts with Hendricks, the Cubs’ ace who had a 2.88 ERA last season.
“There are certainly similarities but some real differences as well,” Davies said. "Those differences are a little bit finer, and not everyone catches on. At the same time, we both know those differences and how that changes my game plan compared to his. The similarities are about reading swings and reading hitter tendencies, also how our skill sets and stuff play within the game against those (hitters). I love talking pitching and baseball and will enjoy every minute of those conversations.”
Davies was excited to join the Cubs, even though it meant leaving a rising Padres team.
“Coming to a team like the Cubs will be a fun year for me,” Davies said. “I am excited about it. I have played against a lot of these guys in this clubhouse for a while now. It is always fun to play with different guys and become a part of their team. That is especially true after playing against these guys for so long. This is a veteran-hitting team that knows from top to bottom that if they don't get the job done, the next guy will pick them up. It's a professional team for me and a tough lineup to navigate (when I pitched for the Brewers). It was always fun pitching to those guys and it is exciting to be playing with them now.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.