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Quiet Cubs

By Thomas J. Harrigan, Fantasy Sports Writer

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Only Mother Nature could put a stop to Chicago Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada Tuesday night against the San Francisco Giants.

Wada threw five scoreless innings, struck out three and didn't walk a batter before the rain began to fall. Four hours and 34 minutes later, the game was called and Wada had his first career shutout.

The left-hander is a 33-year-old rookie who came over from Japan in 2012 but had to undergo Tommy John surgery and didn't make his debut until this July.

So far, he's gone 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings.

Two days after Wada made his debut, another pitcher, a much younger one, made his first big-league start.

That pitcher was 24-year-old right-hander Kyle Hendricks and he's been even better than Wada.

In 48 2/3 innings, Hendricks has gone 5-1 with a 1.48 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP and a 29/11 K/BB.

Hendricks had success at every stop in the minors and recorded a 2.69 ERA and a 386/81 K/BB in 452 1/3 innings down there. He had a 3.28 ERA and a 124/31 K/BB in 142 2/3 innings for Triple-A Iowa in the hard-hitting PCL.

Wada also had impressive numbers for Iowa this season. In 113 2/3 innings, he had a 2.77 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP and a 120/28 K/BB.

Neither player is without blemishes, of course. Hendricks doesn't strike out many batters and Wada has been prone to giving up home runs. Both players have a four-seamer that sits below 90 mph.

But both guys also have a good mix of pitches to keep hitters off balance and neither one walks many batters.

Fantasy owners have started to catch on to Hendricks and his sub-1.50 ERA -- he's owned in 43 percent of Yahoo leagues -- but Wada is still searching for a home in 92 percent of leagues.

While the call-up of infield prospect Javier Baez and the plethora of young position-player talent the Cubs have in the minors have received a lot of publicity, Hendricks and Wada have flown under the radar.

08/20 14:08:11 ET


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