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updated: 8/13/2014 9:20 PM

Kranitz honored by Maddux's Hall mention

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It's a long way from Pikeville, West Virginia, to Cooperstown, New York.

And it's a long time from 1984 to 2014.

But Hall of Famer Greg Maddux remembered, and for that, Rick Kranitz is grateful.

Currently the pitching coach of the Milwaukee Brewers, Kranitz spent 22 years in the Cubs organization in various major-league and minor-league roles.

He crossed paths with Maddux at Rookie League Pikeville in 1984, and Maddux made sure to thank Kranitz in his Hall of Fame speech at Cooperstown.

"After 30 years, are you kidding me?" Kranitz said Wednesday at Wrigley Field. "Obviously, I'm very honored he would mention me. It was my first year as a pitching coach and his first year as a pitcher. Quite frankly, I didn't want to screw the kid up.

"He just came up to me sometime after he got there and said, 'You need to start teaching me something.' Not a lot of people ask me about that."

The Hall of Fame induction annually takes place on a Sunday, when teams are playing or getting ready to play. Kranitz said he didn't know Maddux had thanked him until he received a text from someone on the Brewers. Later that day, general manager Doug Melvin also mentioned the Maddux speech to Kranitz.

"That just shows you want kind of class the guy is," Kranitz said of Maddux. "From what I hear, he kind of took it all the way through the system and talked about the pitching coaches along the way."

Kranitz won't claim to have known he had a future Hall of Famer on his hands.

"We didn't have radar guns," he said. "It wasn't like, 'It's 92 or 93 (mph).' But all I knew was it was different coming out of his hand than anybody else because his hand speed was so quick. The ball just absolutely jumped out of his hand.

"He didn't have his great command, but he was a strike thrower. He had a really good curveball, which he totally canned later. All we did was put a little (new) grip with his hand on his changeup, and off he went with it.

"I tell you what, you could have put a rock in his hand with a changeup grip, and he would have been successful with it. That's how talented the guy was."

Making his case:

Rookie right-hander Kyle Hendricks has opened eyes with his 4-1 record and 1.73 ERA to begin his big-league career. He could be forcing his way into a rotation spot for next year.

"He's starting to make a pretty strong statement, obviously," said Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer. "He's pitched really well. Those last 5 starts have been excellent and against really good competition.

"His first 2 starts in the big leagues were kind of (against) skeleton lineups by the nature of doubleheaders and off-days and things like that. But these last 4 or so have been against good lineups.

"His preparation is outstanding. He knows what he wants to do with the ball. So far, his poise has been really notable."

This and that:

Lefty Felix Doubront will make at least 1 more rehab start at Class AAA Iowa. Doubront, who is on the disabled list with a calf strain, worked 4 innings Tuesday in his first rehab start. He gave up 4 hits and 3 runs in 4 innings, … The Cubs have released outfielder Nate Schierholtz, whom they designated for assignment Aug. 6 … Outfielder Justin Ruggiano was not in Wednesday's lineup because of groin tightness, according to manager Rick Renteria.

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