Hendricks strong, Murton returns, so long Contreras, Candelario

SHARE Hendricks strong, Murton returns, so long Contreras, Candelario

Kyle Hendricks pitching against the White Sox Friday.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Cubs fifth-starter Kyle Hendricks continued a smooth spring ride toward the season, with a five-inning start that included three strikeouts without a walk and one run on just two hits during a 3-2 spring training loss to the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.

“My fastball command felt a little better than my last start,” said Hendricks, who has given up just two runs in 14 innings this spring (1.29 ERA).

“I threw about eight curveballs,” he said, “and they all felt pretty good. The changeup was still good. So I think I’m moving forward.”

Until we meet again?

Two of Cubs’ top prospects were among 11 players cut from big-league camp Friday, but manager Joe Maddon lauded catcher Willson Contreras and third baseman Jeimer Candelaro on their way out and said both have the chance to be impact additions at some point this season.

“I do think that if they go to the minor leagues and play like we think they can play and if there’s a need, I think both those guys can be very impactful,” he said.

Both played Friday before heading out.

Contreras, who looks like a potential long-term core player, impressed both defensively and at the plate (5-for-12 with three doubles) this spring. He was optioned to AAA Iowa.

Candelario, a switch-hitter who added a double to his spring Friday and went 11-for-31 (.355) with six extra-base hits, was optioned to AA Tennessee.

Spring cleaning

Four other players were optioned to AAA on Friday: infielder Arismendy Alcantara, left-hander C.J.Riefenhauser and right-handers Carl Edwards Jr. and Pierce Johnson.

Five non-roster players were reassigned to minor-league camp: catcher Taylor Davis, left-hander Edgar Olmos and right-handers Stephen Fife, Felix Pena and Drew Rucinski.

Murton in action

Outfielder Matt Murton, who has been working his way back from an emergency appendectomy the past three weeks, made his Cactus League debut Friday, entering the game defensively in left field in the fourth and going hitless in two at-bats.

On deck

Cubs at Indians, Goodyear, Ariz., 9:05 p.m., 670-AM, Pierce Johnson vs. Corey Kluber. Also: Jake Arrieta starts in a minor-league game in Mesa.

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