The Rundown: Hendricks to Start NLDS Game 2, Cubs Reportedly Sign Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez, Rangers and Astros Win First Games of ALDS

We’ve known for a while that Jon Lester would be starting Game 1 of the NLDS, but yesterday we finally learned who will be starting Game 2.

Joe Maddon told the media that Kyle Hendricks will get the nod.

Jake Arrieta will be back at it for Game 3, and Jason Hammel will get the start in Game 4 as long as he isn’t used out of the bullpen.

Despite his second-half struggles, I kind of felt all along that the Cubs would go with Jason Hammel in Game 2, but apparently Hendricks’ solid conclusion to the season convinced his manager that he’s the best choice.

Hendricks has definitely looked good lately, so hopefully he can keep it going. I expect him to have a pretty short leash though — look for the bullpen to get up in the 5th or 6th.

But first things first, Jon Lester will take on John Lackey tonight in Game 1. The Cubs are playing some great baseball right now — keep it rolling.

Cubs pick up another young bat

According to Jesse Sanchez, the Cubs have signed Cuban outfield prospect Eddy Julio Martinez for $3 million.

It had been reported that Martinez had signed a deal with the Giants last weekend, but that deal ended up falling through.

The right-handed 20-year-old has a compact power swing, Sanchez writes. It sounds like he has a very good combination of power and speed.

Love the signing, as Martinez is one of the top international free agents available (No. 4 on’s list). It’s clear the Cubs are still committed to adding solid bats to their minor-league system.

The Cubs haven’t confirmed the signing.

ALDS wrapup

Both road teams won their respective first games in ALDS yesterday. The Rangers topped David Price and the Blue Jays.

People seem to be jumping on Price a bit for not being able to perform in the playoffs (more specifically that he hasn’t recorded a win in the playoffs). I’d still take him on my team in a heartbeat.

Two key injuries occurred in the game, as Rangers third-baseman Adrian Beltre hurt his back on a slide, while Toronto’s Josh Donaldson took a knee to the head on a slide.

In the later game, Houston stayed hot and defeated the Royals. It’s funny, the Astros are starting to look like last year’s version of the Royals. Not sure they can make it though this series, but they’re off to a good start.

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