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Hendricks studies tape to fix mechanics

Soler moved to DH because of tight right calf

CHICAGO -- Kyle Hendricks had to go way back to figure out what was wrong with his mechanics.

The Cubs right-hander, who went 3 1/3 innings on Friday, checked video of his outings in Double-A and feels he found a way to fix his mechanics.

"I was in such a bad position," Hendricks said of his abbreviated outing. "[Friday], it was so noticeable. My backside is not tall enough, so I'm collapsing. My shoulders are off, they aren't on line, and my arm path, I'm getting my arm stuck behind me."

He and pitching coach Chris Bosio broke down the video, compared it to what he's doing now and were able to come up with some drills in hopes of getting Hendricks back on track.

"Everybody has different mechanics," Hendricks said. "Some guys are rotational. For me, being rotational is not good at all. I have to be on line, my shoulders square, then I can get to the bottom of the zone."

He felt relieved to find an answer.

"It's been frustrating," he said of this season. "All year, trying to find the answer. All year, it hasn't felt right. Even when I had a good outing, it just happened that my hand position was good that day."

Extra bases

Jorge Soler was originally to start in right field on Saturday, but he was switched to be designated hitter because of a tight right calf.

"It's nothing awful, but why make him run around out there?" Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Get it well today, then I can definitely play him out there [Sunday]."

• Maddon had no problems with reliever Pedro Strop's demonstrative arm pumps after striking out a batter to end the eighth inning Friday.

"To me, it's rather amusing," Maddon said. "I don't have any issue at all. If you're the kind of guy who looks for that kind of stuff and need that as motivation, come on."

Video: [email protected]: Strop fans Saladino to end the threat in 8th

Maddon, a big fan of Al Hrabosky, the "Mad Hungarian" reliever for the Cardinals, said what Strop did Friday was "natural."

Strop was amped up after the White Sox Alexei Ramirez pointed his finger at the right-hander while standing on second base. Maddon said Ramirez threw the manager a baseball before the game.

"I put my phone number on it and threw it back," Maddon said.

Clayton Richard has pitched in relief before, so it hasn't been too difficult of an adjustment to come out of the bullpen for the Cubs. The lefty picked up the win in relief Friday, giving up one hit over two scoreless innings.

"I did it early in my career, so it's not new," Richard said. "It's something that takes a little bit of time to get adjusted to. At the end of the day, it's just executing pitches. If you're able to do that, you'll be successful, no matter if you're starting or relieving."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
Read More: Chicago Cubs, Jorge Soler, Kyle Hendricks, Clayton Richard, Pedro Strop