Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins offers Cubs’ youngsters words of wisdom
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter February 25, 2014 9:37PM
Updated: February 26, 2014 2:27AM
MESA, Ariz. — Showing that their past can play a role in their future, the Cubs had pitching great Fergie Jenkins address all the players in camp before workouts Tuesday.
‘‘Here’s a guy who’s a Hall of Famer, who’s worked from a different era and brings in a different perspective,’’ manager Rick Renteria said.
Some of Jenkins’ message involved an approach to getting better by realizing hitters can learn from how their pitching teammates approach opposing hitters and
‘‘You can learn a lot from him,’’ said top prospect Javy Baez, 21, who was born nearly 10 years after Jenkins, 71, threw his last pitch. ‘‘He doesn’t act like, ‘I’m a Hall of Famer, you’ve got to pay attention to me.’ He’s a pretty good guy.’’
Renteria didn’t rule out inviting other past Cubs to talk to the team.
The Cubs open their game schedule Wednesday with a six-inning intrasquad outing featuring the Mensa matchup of starting pitchers Kyle Hendricks (Dartmouth) and Eric Jokisch (Northwestern).
Also scheduled to pitch are left-handers Armando Rivero and Tsuyoshi Wada and right-handers Arodys Vizcaino, Neil Ramirez, Chang-Yong Lim, Brian Schlitter and Marcus Hatley.
† Right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa, the $9.5 million reliever whose 2013 season ended in Tommy John surgery just 12 games into his Cubs career, threw from a mound Monday for the first time since the surgery. The Cubs are hoping for a midseason return.