Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon likes that lean and lanky look presented by relief pitcher Luke Farrell.
The 6-foot-6, 210-pound right-hander earned his first major-league victory in Monday night’s series opener against the Colorado Rockies as he worked 1⅓ perfect innings in relief of starter Jon Lester.
The Cubs claimed Farrell off waivers from the Cincinnat Reds last October after he had pitched for them and for the Kansas City Royals.
Farrell, 26, is the son of former Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell. The Cubs called him up from Class AAA Iowa on April 20.
“I saw him last year, when he was with Cincinnati,” Maddon said Tuesday. “I did not know who he was. He came into the game. I saw ‘Farrell,’ but I didn’t put it together. ‘I like this guy a little bit.’ Then, ‘That’s John’s son.’ ‘Really?’ I like him because he’s tall and he throws the ball downhill. “You don’t see that often anymore. I think it’s a really good method.
“I think he’s got superior makeup. On the five levels of being a professional baseball player, I think he’s already at Stage 3 — I belong here, I can do this.
“Again, that’s probably the residue of his pedigree, growing up the way that he did. Honestly, when you get to know him, there’s nothing to not like. I just think he has the inner workings of being a successful major-league player beyond talent.”
Strikeouts are no hit:
The Associated Press and Elias Sports Bureau report that April was the first calendar month in major-league history in which strikeouts exceeded hits.
There were 6,656 strikeouts and 6,360 hits in April, according to Elias.
“I think the weather probably played a part in that,” Joe Maddon said. “I’m not 100 percent sure. It was kind of a severe April, weather wise.
“I’ve been kind of poking fun of launch angle, and I still think that has something to do with strikeout proliferation. It’s hard to argue against that for me. Added velocity. Data information, really knowing where to attack a hitter in the zone really presents a big hole, unless you’re exceptionally talented.
“You might find a couple more homers, but you might find a lot less contact, I think.
“Data and information. Data analytics really benefits pitching and defense. It really does.”